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

People are merging with machines
2014 10 20
Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 - year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s ...
Illegal Aliens Cleared For U.S. Military Service
2014 10 18
The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday. USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training: "For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will ...
Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial Discovered in Russia
2014 10 16
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds. The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises. The sundial might be "evidence of ...
Humans may only survive 68 days on Mars
2014 10 15
Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says. Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study ...
Tom Sunic’s letter to the US Ambassador to Hungary
2014 10 14
October 11, 2014 Mr. André Goodfriend Chargé d’Affaires Embassy of the United States of America Szabadság tér 12 H-1054 Budapest Dear Mr. Goodfriend, As an American citizen I would hereby like to express my concern over the recent decision by the Hungarian government to ban the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference which had been scheduled to take place in Budapest from October 3 to October 5, 2014. ...
More News »