Despite being illegal according to legal scholars,air strikes have begun against targets in Syria, with the support of Labour MPs acting against a resolution of their own party conference. On this page we’ll keep a log of the unlawful RAF airstrikes on Syria. Continue Reading…
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This is an update on the recent HRI report on the RAF bombing of Zlitan which reportedly killed 85 civilians including children.
According to the BBC (who have avoided reporting that the RAF as the perpetrator):
Almost 48 hours after the first strike hit the cluster of buildings in the countryside to the south of Zlitan, Nato said it had completed its assessment of what happened.
It confirmed it had hit the area, targeting four buildings and nine vehicles at the site between 23.33 on Monday and 02.34 on Tuesday.
The times for the strikes correspond with those given by people in the area.
Nato went on: “We monitored this military compound very carefully before striking.”
“Our assessment, based on the level of destruction of the buildings, confirms the likelihood of military and mercenary casualties. The allegation of civilian casualties made by the Gaddafi regime was not corroborated by available factual information at the site.”
Now further video evidence has emerged. This is highly disturbing footage and shows body parts and dead children as well as the grief and anger of the survivors and relatives of the dead in the immediate aftermath and at the hospital. It is clear that those helping survivors of the first strike were hit by the second and third strikes.
WARNING GRAPHIC FOOTAGE
The bombing of a “staging area” in Zlitan on the night of 8/9 August is confirmed on the RAF web site.
This raid, launched from RAF Marham was a night-time raid using GR4 Tornados as part of Operation Ellamy. The weapons used were either Paveway 4 or more likely Brimstone bombs which cost £105,000 each. As it was a night-time raid the most likely squadron responsible was the 9 Squadron (motto: “Throughout the night we fly” which is based at RAF Marham. (other squadrons based there and include the 31 Squadron, 13 Squadron and 2(AC) Squadron). After the mission was completed the planes involved landed at Gioia del Colle in Italy.
There is more information on the Tornado and the Brimstone thanks to a presentation given by pilot Fl Lt Mark Lawson and Weapons Systems Officer Fl Lt James Cooke of 9 Squadron , who took time out from attacking Libya to give a presentation at the stand of the Brimstone bomb manufacturer MBDA (Motto: “Lock on to MBDA solutions” based at 11 Strand, London) at the Paris Air Show arms fair.
Responsibility for the bombing of a civilian area at night and the inevitable civilian casualities lies with the military leadership of NATO including Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard and Admiral Stavridis and on the political leadership including William Hague and David Cameron who must have given the go-ahead to an atttack of this nature.
More bombings in Zlitan / Zliten / زليتن
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT (DEAD CHILDREN):
The reaction of the Libyan government spokesperson:
Tweet of UK Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer and Ministry of Defence spokesman on military operations:
At the 9 August NATO press conference, NATO spokesman, Colonel Roland Lavoie, said there had been attacks on two “huge agricultural buildings” with “military tents and temporary accommodation” beside them in Zlitan at 11.30 pm, 11.45 pm and 2.34 am local times the night before.
He was aware of the reports of patients in the Zlitan hospital being ill or dead. He had not yet received a battle damage assessment but there was
“no evidence so far that has reached us that could suggest there have been civilian casualties.”
Update 14 August: According to an article in the Eastern Daily Post the NATO planes involved in this raid were RAF Tornados which flew the 3,000 miles of this mission from RAF Marham in Norfolk supported by VC10 and TriStar aerial refuelling tankers attacking what they describe as a “staging post” in Zlitan.
Mohamed and Motez al-Mrabet, ages 5 and 3 and their mother Ibtisam were killed by RAF / NATO bombs in Zlitan on Thurday.
CNN reports that at the funeral Abubakr Ali watched volunteers carefully bury the bodies of his sister and two nephews next to the neighborhood mosque. According the family a third child, Naji aged 8, is in serious condition in hospital.
“This was a civilian home. No army, no military, no Gadhafi forces. It’s a family sleeping safely in their place,” he said. “This is the protection of civilians.”
Footage of the reaction of people of Zlitan, relatives and of the victims (graphic):
NATO’s regular email update indicates they have hit the following key targets on Thursday:
In the vicinity of Zlitan : 1 Ammunition Storage Facility, 1 Military Facility, 2 Multiple Rocket Launchers, 1 Surface to Air Missal [sic] System . (To which can be appended 1 House, 2 Kids 1 Mother)
Tweet by Maj Gen Nick Pope, the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer and Ministry of Defence spokesman on military operations, omits any mention of the civilians killed:
Can you imagine if they had been American or British?
An article in The Telegraph reports that there is a strong racial element in the conflict between Misrata and Zlitan, with many inhabitants of Zlitan being descendents of slaves. Human Rights Investigations has reported before on the ethnic cleansing of Misrata and on the Misratan “Brigade to purge slaves, black skin.”
The RAF is now acting as the air arm to this ethnic cleansing.