10 Policemen Killed in Kirkuk Bombing; 85% of Iraqis Killed by US Aerial Bombing Women and Children

A parked car bomb in the northern oil city of Kirkuk killed 10 policemen in a passing convoy and wounded 20 other persons on Wednesday.

Kirkuk is the object of a lively struggle among Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen. The Kurdistan Regional Government wants to annex it, and struggles over the status of Kurdistan have delayed provincial elections there. A group of parliamentarians on Wednesday advised postponing the elections for two months

Meanwhile, a study of Iraq War deaths at King’s College and Royal Holloway College in the UK has found that 85% of the deaths caused by US aerial bombardment of targets in Iraqi cities have been women and children.

I have long maintained that it is likely a violation of the Geneva Conventions for the US air force to systematically bomb cities that the US military is already occupying. Typically such close air support in urban areas is called in by infantry or armor patrols to deal with snipers atop tenement buildings. But since families live in the tenement buildings, taking out a sniper or two often results in significant civilian deaths. It is likely that the death toll of women and children is much greater than the Iraq Body Count suggests, since pulberized buildings are not always cleared away in a slum, and when they are, bodies are not always exhumed.

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