NATO Defends Civilian Deaths in Libya War

Insists Civilian Homes Were 'Military Targets'

NATO is still trying to come to terms with the 72 civilians it killed last year in the Libyan Civil War, having come full circle from a blanket denial that it ever happened to now insisting that the attacks were all against “military targets.

NATO has come under enormous criticism for stonewalling the investigations into the deaths, and for refusing to provide any reason why they were bombing civilian neighborhoods, in some cases seemingly at random. Confidential reports showed that NATO often had no idea what they were bombing.

Today’s comments don’t attempt to explain how blocks of civilian homes were “military targets,” but simply wave away the concern by declaring it as a fact, and then insisting that NATO “did everything possible to minimize risks to civilians.”

Human Rights Watch actually credited NATO for its efforts to “minimize” the number of civilians it killed in the attacks, but said that at some point NATO really ought to launch an actual investigation of the killings to explain how they happened. NATO has repeatedly refused to investigate the deaths.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of