Gulf War casualties continue

August 28, 1991

Gulf War casualties continue

WASHINGTON — Eighty-seven per cent of civilian deaths caused by the Gulf War have occurred since the war ended, according to casualty estimates released by Greenpeace on July 23.

Greenpeace also estimates that 62,400 to 99,400 civilians died as a direct result of the bombing of Iraq and economic sanctions. The document shows that the best estimate of Iraqi deaths through July 15 ranges from 162,400 to 219,400.

The new estimates are released on the heels of a Defense Department interim report to Congress on the military conduct of the Gulf War which carefully steps around an Iraqi casualty estimate. It stated: "Careful targeting and expert use of technological superiority — including precision guided munitions — throughout the strategic air campaign minimized collateral damage and casualties to the civilian population".

The Greenpeace estimate stands in stark contrast to an absolute lack of interest in an official government estimate of Iraqi casualties. "How can the Pentagon say it was able to minimise Iraqi casualties when it continues to refuse to estimate the number of people who died?", William M. Arkin, Greenpeace International military research director, said.

The Greenpeace report found that destruction to Iraqi civilian infrastructure — such as electrical power grids and water treatment plants — led to the bulk of the civilian casualties through epidemics and starvation. Desperate food and medicine shortages persist, and medical treatment is inadequate and aggravated by shortages of electricity throughout the country. — Greenpeace/Pegasus

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