Military officials with the coalition fighting to disarm and depose the Iraqi government are accusing Iraq of placing military equipment near historical and cultural sites in the country.
Brigadier General Vincent Brooks displayed aerial photographs of what he says is military communications equipment positioned next to ancient ruins, about 35 kilometers outside Baghdad. The general accused Iraq of using the 2,000-year-old site to protect military installations.
General Brooks also charged militiamen in southern Iraq with using Iraqi civilians to protect themselves as they attacked coalition forces. He cautioned anti-war activists who are acting as human shields in Baghdad. "People have a number of things that they believe in and they make their own choices," he said. "It is a very dangerous place and it is ill advised to go to the kind of area that Baghdad is right now."
General Brooks said coalition forces try to avoid all civilian casualties, but indicated the coalition's plans would not change because of such activities.