NATO becoming "occupying force": Furious Karzai bans ’house bombing’, killing of civilians
2011 06 01

By Usman Sharifi | YahooNews.com


Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a furious warning over civilian casualties in the war Tuesday, saying the US-led foreign military risks becoming an "occupying force" if fatal air strikes continue.

In some of his strongest remarks yet, Karzai harked back to Afghanistan’s long history of "dealing with occupying forces" such as the Soviet Union and reiterated that bombing the homes of ordinary Afghans was now "banned."

The outspoken comments came after he issued a "last warning" to foreign forces over civilian casualties Sunday, following the killing of what he said were 14 innocent Afghans in an air strike.

Karzai’s relationship with the West has become increasingly strained in recent years, with the controversy over civilian casualties a key factor, as US-led efforts to put down a nearly 10-year Taliban insurgency intensify.

A NATO spokeswoman in Brussels insisted strikes on houses were "necessary" following Karzai’s comments, while NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul said it tries hard to limit civilians deaths.

"If after the Afghan government said the aerial bombing of Afghan houses is banned and if it continues, then their presence will change from a war against terrorism to an occupying force," Karzai told a news conference in Kabul.

"And in that case, Afghan history is witness to how the Afghans deal with occupying forces."

This was an apparent reference to historic Afghan defeats of foreign invaders, including the Soviet Union, which entered Afghanistan in 1979 and withdrew 10 years later.

Karzai added: "Bombing Afghan houses is banned."

The incident which triggered Karzai’s comments -- Saturday’s bombing of a compound in the troubled southern province of Helmand -- left 14 civilians including 11 children dead, according to the president.

ISAF said the death toll was nine and has apologised while saying the strike was carried out after insurgents who had earlier killed a patrolling marine hid in a compound and carried on firing.

Western military figures say that hiding among civilians is a regular Taliban tactic when they are being pursued by international forces.

In the wake of Karzai’s comments, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said such operations would not be halted.

"There will be continued coordination with Afghan security forces on such operations. They are necessary, they continue to be necessary, but they are conducted in coordination and together with Afghan security forces," she told reporters.


Read the full article at: news.yahoo.com




Related Articles
Karzai tells West that Afghanis will decide their own fate, and NATO ’accidentally’ whacks his cousin
Karzai: ’US Not After Terrorists in Afghanistan’
Karzai marks 9/11 with appeal over civilian deaths
Karzai Says Afghan Army Will Need U.S. Until 2024


Latest News from our Front Page

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us. At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account. Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy. The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade. Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday. The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria. A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
More News »