United Nations report on Deadly US Airstrike on civilians in Afghanistan
UNITED NATIONS - A United Nations report issued Wednesday deemed U.S. airstrikes, which killed or injured at least 39 Afghan civilians in May, as unlawful.
The airstrikes, which hit dozens of sites in the western provinces of Nimroz and Farah, were targeting what the U.S. called drug labs used to fund the Taliban.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said funding activities were considered civilian objectives under international law, and workers at such facilities were therefore civilians.
“UNAMA has assessed that the personnel working inside the drug production facilities were not performing combat functions. They were therefore entitled to protection from attack, and could only have lost this protection if, and for such time, as they had been directly participating in hostilities,” the report states.
In the special report into the impact of damage to more than 60 sites in Farah province’s Bakwa district and in neighbouring Delaram district on 5 May, UNAMA investigators said there was no military advantage to be gained from the bombardment, pointing out that some of the buildings targeted – including family residences – had no apparent link to drug-making. Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly-addictive illegal stimulant that is typically manufactured in makeshift laboratories, using easily-available chemicals.