28 August, 2010

Chilcot Inquiry criticised over civilian casualties

It is almost certainly true to say that nobody actually knows how many Iraqi civilian deaths were caused as a result of the military action in Iraq.  The Chilcot Inquiry has been accused of paying derisory attention to this issue - see The Guardian 27th August 2010.   See also the Guardian's page on Iraq. There appears to be nothing in the Inquiry's terms of reference which would prevent them from examining this matter though the inquiry is concerned primarily with the period Summer 2001 to the end of July 2009 - see here.

The Chilcot Inquiry has now finished hearing evidence.  140 witnesses have been heard and this has concentrated mainly on the decision-making in London and Washington.  The Inquiry team are to visit Iraq so it is possible that their eventual report may contain something about the Iraqi perspective.

The U.S. has now scaled down its troop numbers in Iraq to about 50,000 who, according to BBC Middle East News 19th August 2010, are there to "advise Iraqi forces and protect US interests".  The same report notes that the US has a trillion dollar investment in Iraq to protect.

Some reports of very recent events in Iraq may be read at Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count (icasualties.org) and at Iraq Today.  It is clear that Iraq is far from being a settled place and it is reported that there have been Al Qaeda attacks across 13 cities and towns - see New Zealand Herald 27th August 2010.  This casts considerable doubt about Iraqi government claims that security has improved.

See also Operation Iraqi Freedom

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