More Afghan civilians are being killed by US and pro-government forces than by the Taliban and other insurgents, the UN reports, 18 years after US military involvement in the country began.
Between January and March 2019, 581 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, 305 died at the hands of foreign and pro-government forces, while insurgent groups killed 227 people, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a newly published quarterly report.
“It’s not that the US is going out to kill civilians as such, if they get in the way, they get in the way,” former Pentagon analyst Michael Maloof told RT.
This is the first time UNAMA data has shown pro-government forces killing more civilians than insurgents since data collection began in 2009. Insurgents were found to have injured twice as many civilians as the government forces, however.
“The rules of engagement have been greatly liberalized and you’re having more aerial attacks, which don’t discriminate with bombs, unless you get some good intelligence, and inevitably the intelligence isn’t always that good,” Maloof added, referring to President Donald Trump’s 2017 relaxation of the rules of US engagement in Afghanistan.
Taliban members are also hiding in populated areas, “knowing that civilians could get killed and that will become a propaganda tool for them,” he explained.'
Read more: ‘Rules of engagement have been liberalized’: Ex-Pentagon analyst to RT on US killings in Afghanistan
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