The Kabul Times.
Opinion

Focus on UN, US report on Farah civilian casualties

By: Desk of Reporters

KABUL: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a statement late on last week (Wednesday) saying that at least 30 civilians were killed and 9 others wounded following a series of US airstrikes targeting drug-processing facilities in Farah province.
Likewise, the private Tolonews TV has released both UN and US report about the tragedy in the southern province, some parts excerpted by The Kabul Times Desk of Reporters as follows:
The statement further said: “14 women and children were among the dead. “Although airstrikes on alleged drug-processing facilities had taken place before, this was the first time that UNAMA had received reports of a large number of civilian casualties resulting from such an operation.”
According to the UNAMA report, on May 5, the Ministry of Interior, reporting on the Farah attacks, claimed the death of 150 Taliban fighters and the injury of 40, Tolo News Afghanistan’s leading private TV quoted.
On Wednesday, spokespeople for the US Forces in Afghanistan issued a response to the UNAMA report stating concerns with “the way UNAMA reached its conclusions,” and disagreeing with UNAMA’s “mischaracterization of the Taliban in the methamphetamine production facilities.” USFOR-A stated that based on “US legal definitions” it considered that “personnel in the labs were members of the Taliban and lawful military targets.”
The UN report acknowledged that “according to longstanding US policy, economic objects that contribute to the war effort of a party to a conflict are considered legitimate military objectives” but challenged this policy, invoking “international humanitarian law, including international customary law” to declare that “drug facilities and associated workers may not be lawfully made the target of attack and should be protected,” according to the TV. The USFOR-A response criticized the UN report’s “reliance on sources with conflicted motives or limited knowledge (including the Taliban propaganda website “Voice of Jihad”); and their narrow definition of legally targetable combatants.”
“Intelligence and operations professionals knew what the Taliban narcotics production facilities looked like, exactly where they were, and who was allowed entry,” the USFOR-A report claimed, insisting that “USFOR-A took extraordinary measures to avoid the deaths or injuries of non-combatants.”
Anyway, we have many evidences showing no or less coordination between the Afghan and foreign forces in war on terror in different parts of the country.
On the other, the country’s security forces particularly the intelligence office should be vigilant on any of the events taking place in any parts of the country and where there are was a need for launching offensives, they should coordinate with their foreign counterparts to avoid civilian death.
Likewise, the government should take leadership for any security events across the country and the foreign forces should not resort to any action unless coordinated with domestic forces, a move would help civilians protected.

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The Kabul Times.