News / Asia

Afghanistan Demands End to Airstrikes on Houses

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul, May 31, 2011
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul, May 31, 2011

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is warning NATO forces in his country that he will no longer allow them to target houses with airstrikes.  The warning follows an airstrike Afghan officials say killed 14 people Saturday, including women and children, in Helmand Province.

Karzai said his demand for NATO to stop airstrikes that kill Afghan civilians is his "last warning." But he would not clarify what actions the Kabul government would take if the bombings continue.

He said he would be bringing up the issue when he next meets with NATO commanders.

In the past, the Afghan president has made sweeping statements condemning NATO forces and banning certain practices, such as night raids on Afghan homes, only to later allow the practices to continue.

But speaking with reporters in Kabul, Karzai said the Afghan people can no longer tolerate airstrikes that target Afghan homes.

“Afghanistan is an ally, not an occupied country. And our treatment with NATO is from the point of view of an ally. If it turns to the other, to the behavior of an occupation then of course the Afghan people know how to deal with that,” he said.

After 10 years of war, civilian deaths caused by international forces have become a bitter issue among locals for whom tribal honor codes demand revenge or compensation.

NATO officials say they never conduct airstrikes without some coordination with Afghan authorities. They also say militants routinely hide in civilian areas and use innocent bystanders as human shields when fighting.  

On Saturday, U.S. Marines called in airstrikes during a firefight in Helmand Province, in southern Afghanistan. NATO officials later apologized for killing what they said were nine civilians in the attack. They said the operation was aimed at insurgents who earlier had attacked a U.S. patrol, killing one Marine.

A spokeswoman for the International Security Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Regina Winchester said NATO forces have clear rules of engagement intended to minimize such events.

“We have very specific guidelines and rules of engagement on how we interact and how we conduct operations, especially in populated areas," said Winchester. "One of our primary lines of operations here is to protect the populace and that’s not just from the insurgents, but also from any possible civilian casualties as the outcome of our own operations.”

U.S. and NATO troops are in Afghanistan under a U.N. mandate that is due to expire in October. U.S. officials are still in negotiations on what the status of foreign troops will be after that date.

Karzai has said that he will put strict controls on the conduct of international forces in any agreement.

NATO officials in Afghanistan say they regularly review their tactics in an effort to limit civilian casualties. A spokesman for NATO forces says there will be a new inquiry following Karzai’s statements.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid