The crimes associated with waging aggressive war, laid down in the Nuremberg
Principles and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,
“If any person, in furtherance of a state policy, orders the use of force to
attack members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, that person
and everyone who takes part in the attack is responsible for the consequences,
breaks international law and, if it results in the deaths of innocent people,
commits the universal crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes,
aggression or conduct ancillary to such crimes”.
Nuremberg Principle III states, “The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.”
Nuremberg Principle IV states, “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Civilian losses Timeline of the
2011 military intervention in Libya
14 May: NATO air strike
hit a large number of people gathered for Friday prayers in the eastern city of
11 religious leaders dead and 50 others wounded.
24 May: NATO air strikes
in Tripoli kill
19 civilians and wound 150, according to Libyan state television.
31 May: Libya claims
that NATO strikes have left up to 718 civilians dead.
19 June: NATO air strikes
hit a residential house in Tripoli,
killing seven civilians, according to Libyan state television.
20 June: A NATO airstrike
in Sorman, near Tripoli, killed fifteen
civilians, according to government officials.
Eight rockets apparently hit the compound of a senior government official, in
an area where NATO confirmed operations had taken place.
25 June: NATO strikes on Brega hit a bakery
and a restaurant, killing 15 civilians and wounding 20 more, Libyan state
television claimed. The report further accused the coalition of "crimes
against humanity". The claims were denied by NATO.
28 June: NATO airstrike on
the town of Tawergha,
300 km east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli kills
25 July: NATO airstrike on
a medical clinic in Zliten
kills 11 civilians, though the claim was denied by NATO, who said they hit a
vehicle depot and communications center.
9 August: Libyan
government claims 85 civilians were killed in a NATO airsrike in Majer, a
village near Zliten. A spokesman confirms that NATO bombed Zliten at 2:34 a.m.
on 9 August,
but says he was unable to confirm the casualties. Commander of the NATO
military mission, Lieutenant General Charles
Bouchard says "I cannot believe that 85 civilians were present when we
struck in the wee hours of the morning, and given our intelligence. But I
cannot assure you that there were none at all".
15 September: Gaddafi
spokesman Moussa Ibrahim declares that NATO air strikes killed 354 civilians
and wounded 700 others, while 89 other civilians are supposedly missing. He
also claims that over 2,000 civilians have been killed by NATO air strikes
since 1 September.
NATO denied the claims, saying they were unfounded.
Day 1 – 19 March 2011
On the afternoon of 19 March, the Royal Navy Trafalgar-class submarine HMS Triumph
fired Tomahawk cruise missiles.
A combined total along with US over the day was reported by the US to be over
The Royal Navy also has a Type 22 frigate (HMS Cumberland) and a Type
23 frigate (HMS Westminster) engaged in a naval
Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, confirmed that British
aircraft were in action over Libya on the 19th,
although it was the French Air Force who made the first coalition
aerial presence over Libya earlier the same day.
Sentry, Sentinel and VC-10 aircraft were said to be carrying out operations
Akrotiri in Cyprus.
The home base for the VC-10 aircraft was RAF
Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and for the Sentinel and Sentry aircraft was RAF
Waddington in Lincolnshire.
On the night of 19–20 March 2011, Storm
Shadow missiles were launched by Tornado GR4 aircraft.
Tornados of No. 9 Squadron from RAF Marham
had sortied on a 3,000 mi (4,800 km) mission to fire Storm Shadow
missiles against targets in Libya.
They required refuelling by British tanker aircraft three times on the outward
journey and once on the return. 101 Sqn VC10 and 216 Sqn Tristar aircraft were
Day 2 – 20 March 2011
The MoD announced that Tornado and Typhoon aircraft would be deployed to the
Italian Gioia del Colle Air Base.
The Trafalgar-class submarine HMS Triumph launched further Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets in Libya.
Tornados GR4s, flying from Marham, were on route to Libya but did
not fire their missiles due to information being received that suggested
civilians were in the target areas. The Tornado aircraft returned to RAF Marham
Day 3 – 21 March 2011
The Prime Minister announced to the House of Commons on 21 March
at the start of the debate on the UNSC resolution that RAF Typhoons had been
deployed to an Italian airbase (Gioia del Colle) and would fly in support of
Three Typhoons successfully conducted a mission and returned to Gioia del
Headquarters 906 Expeditionary Air Wing formed at Gioia del Colle Air Base responsible for
assets forward deployed there. Headquarters 907 Expeditionary Air Wing formed
Akrotiri responsible for assets forward deployed there. C-17A Globemaster and Hercules transport aircraft were also used
to assist in the build up of deployed forces.
Day 4 – 22 March 2011
RAF Typhoons flew their first ever combat mission,
patrolling the no-fly zone while Tornado GR4s from RAF Marham
flew an armed reconnaissance sortie. The MoD reported that Royal Navy ships Triumph,
Westminister and Cumberland
remained in theatre for additional strikes and patrol.
Day 5 – 23 March 2011
Tornado GR4s were forwarded deployed to Gioia del Colle Air Base.
In a media interview, the UK Air Component Commander, Air Vice-Marshal Greg
Bagwell, stated that the Libyan Air Force "no longer exists as a fighting
force" and that "we have the Libyan ground forces under constant
observation and we attack them whenever they threaten civilians or attack population
Day 6 – 24 March 2011
Tomahawk Cruise Missiles were again fired at targets from HMS Triumph
RAF Tornado aircraft on an armed reconnaissance mission launched Brimstone missiles against Libyan armoured
vehicles that were reported to be threatening the civilian population of
Adjdabiya. Four T-72
tanks were destroyed in the attack by Tornados, and three by another coalition
aircraft. Likely target locations had previously been identified by other
Tornado aircraft equipped with RAPTOR pods.
Day 7 – 25 March 2011
RAF Tornado aircraft launched more Brimstone missile strikes, destroying
three armoured vehicles in Misrata and two further armoured vehicles in
Day 9 – 27 March 2011
Over the weekend, Tornados from Gioia del Colle launched numerous armed
reconnaissance missions, during the course of which ordnance released hit a
total of 22 tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery pieces in the vicinity of Ajdabiya and Misrata.
Day 10 – 28 March 2011
Tornados from RAF Marham, supported by Tristar tankers from RAF Brize
Norton, launched Storm Shadow strikes against ammunition bunkers in the Sabha
area in the southern Libyan desert. The bunkers were reportedly used to
resupply Libyan Government troops attacking civilians in the north of the
The Type 42 Destroyer Liverpool was ordered to the Mediterranean to
relieve Type 22 frigate Cumberland.
Day 11 – 29 March 2011
The London Conference on Libya
was chaired by the Foreign Secretary, William
Two Tornados flying from Gioia del Colle engaged near Misrata a Libyan
armoured fighting vehicle and two artillery pieces with Brimstone
Day 12 – 30 March 2011
Tornados flying from Gioia del Colle engaged near Misrata three Libyan
tanks, two armoured fighting vehicles and a surface-to-air missile site with Brimstone
missiles and Paveway IV bombs.
HMS Liverpool was deployed to
relieve HMS Cumberland.
Day 13 – 31 March 2011
From 06:00 GMT, NATO
took sole command of air operations over Libya under Operation Unified Protector, taking
over from U.S. Africa Command.
Day 15 – 2 April 2011
HMS Triumph returned to base HMNB
Devonport flying the Jolly Roger marked for six successful Tomahawk
RAF Tornado aircraft launched Paveway IV bombs against pro-Gaddafi forces.
Two main battle tanks in Sirte and several small ground-attack aircraft on an airfield near Misrata were
Day 16 – 3 April 2011
RAF Tornados reportedly launched successful attacks with Paveway IV and
Brimstone missiles on ten armoured fighting vehicles south of Sirte.
Day 17 – 4 April 2011
The number of Tornado aircraft taking part in Operation Ellamy was increased
from eight to twelve on 4 April, with the aircraft deployed from RAF Marham.
RAF Tornados, engaged in two separate strikes in the Libyan city of Sirte, launched three
Brimstone missiles which destroyed one main battle tank and two surface-to-air
Day 22 – 9 April 2011
Seven tanks were destroyed by Tornado aircraft, two in Ajdabiya and five in
Misrata, using Paveway IV bombs and Brimstone missiles.
Day 23 – 10 April 2011
The MoD reported that over the weekend of 22–23 April, of 61 armoured
vehicles and air defence assets destroyed by NATO, 21 were destroyed by RAF aircraft.
Day 25 – 12 April 2011
HMS Turbulent was declared
available in theatre by the MoD for Tomahawk strikes should they be required.
RAF Typhoon aircraft were used operationally in a ground attack role for the
first time. A Typhoon destroyed 2 main battle tanks near Misrata with Paveway
II whilst a Tornado destroyed the third with Paveway IV. In total, RAF aircraft
destroyed eight main battle tanks on 12 April. Since the start of Operation
ELLAMY up until 12 April, RAF aircraft had engaged over 100 main battle tanks,
artillery pieces, armoured vehicles and SAMs.
Day 31–18 April 2011
RAF Tornados and Typhoons attacked a pair of multiple rocket launcher vehicles
and a light artillery piece reportedly firing on Misrata, as well as a
self-propelled gun and tank.
HMS Triumph was reported by the MoD to have launched two salvoes of
Tomahawk missiles against command and control facilities alongside precision
strikes by RAF Tornados, Typhoons and coalition aircraft.
The MoD's previous report that HMS Triumph had returned to Devonport
suggests the submarine involved was probably HMS Turbulent.[dubious ]
HMS Liverpool intercepted the vessel MV Setubal Express
heading for Tripoli,
conducting a boarding party search with Royal
Marines and finding trucks of potential use to the Gaddafi
regime. The merchant vessel was ordered to divert to Salerno in Italy.
Day 32 – 19 April 2011
The Foreign Secretary announced that a British Military Liaison Advisory
Team was to be sent to Benghazi
to advise the NTC on how to improve their military organisational structures,
communications and logistics.
Day 43 – 30 April 2011
HMS Brocklesby destroyed a buoyant
mine containing over 100 kg of high explosive. Using her sonar and
underwater mine disposal system, Seafox, the mine was destroyed one mile from
the entrance to Misrata harbour, making the waters safe for aid ships to enter
Day 49 – 6 May 2011
Tornados attacked a site south of Sirte based on analysis of intelligence by
RAF Tactical Imagery Wing. 20 FROG-7 launchers and a significant number of Scud
canisters were reported as either completely or partially destroyed. RAF
aircraft also destroyed one tank and two armoured vehicles in the area of
Misrata and one mobile rocket launcher south of Tripoli.
Day 55 – 12 May 2011
An RAF Typhoon was reported to have destroyed two Palmaria 155mm howitzers
While engaged in surveillance operations off the coast of the rebel-held
Libyan city of Misrata,
HMS Liverpool came under fire from a shore battery, making her the first
Royal Navy warship to be deliberately targeted since the Falklands
Liverpool had been tasked with other NATO warships, to intercept small,
high-speed inflatable craft spotted approaching the port of Misrata, the type
which had been used previously to lay mines in the Port of Misrata. Libyan
rocket artillery on the coast fired an inaccurate salvo of rockets at Liverpool. Liverpool returned fire with her
4.5 inch main gun, silencing the shore battery, in the Royal Navy's first use
of the weapon since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Day 59 – 16 May 2011
Royal Navy Tomahawk missiles reportedly fired from HMS Triumph, and
Paveway IV bombs released by RAF Tornado aircraft were reported to have struck
intelligence agency buildings and a training base used by Colonel Gaddafi's
Executive Protection Force. RN and RAF attacks were reported to have damaged or
destroyed over 300 targets since the start of Operation Ellamy.
Day 62 – 19 May 2011
Tornado GR4s attacked two corvettes in Al Khums naval base and destroyed a facility in
the dockyard constructing fast inflatable boats which Libyan forces had
reportedly used to mine Misrata and attack vessels in the area.
Day 63 – 20 May 2011
RAF aircraft destroyed five multiple rockets launchers around Tripoli.
Day 67 – 24 May 2011
RAF aircraft attacked four armoured vehicles deployed near the Libyan city
of Zlitan. A
Tornado attacked a Libyan coastal radar station near Brega, which was destroyed
with a dual-mode seeker Brimstone missile.
Day 68 – 25 May 2011
A vehicle depot at Tiji was attacked by a Typhoon FGR4 and a Tornado GR4
dropping four Enhanced Paveway II and five Paveway IV weapons between them.
Day 70 – 27 May 2011
HMS Ocean (detached from the Response Force Task Group COUGAR 11
deployment) deployed with a complement of 4 Apache helicopters to aid operations.
Day 77 – 3 June 2011
The Response Force Task Group withdrew from COUGAR 11 and was deployed (an
RFTG ship, HMS Ocean, and her embarked Apache attack helicopters had
been deployed days earlier) to supplement UK forces in Operation Ellamy.
Day 102 - 28 June 2011
HMS Liverpool used her main gun to fire warning shots at pro-Gaddafi
maritime forces moving along Libya's
Mediterranean coast just west of the city of Misrata, amid concerns a threat was posed to
civilians due to recent repeated attempts to mine the harbour. After initially
ignoring the first shell, a further three were fired and the vessels were
forced to return to their port of departure.
Day 107 - 3 August 2011
Several rockets were fired at HMS Liverpool. She returned fire with
her 4.5 inch main gun. The attack came after the ship had fired a barrage of
illumination rounds in support of an air attack on the stronghold of Zliten.
Day 145 – 10 August 2011
RAF Tornados launched direct from RAF Marham in Norfolk to target command and control and air
defence targets with Stormshadow cruise missiles.
Day 151 – 16 August 2011
Since the start of military operations on 19 March, Royal Air Force, Royal
Navy, and Army Air Corps precision strikes
were reported to have damaged or destroyed some 870 former regime targets.
HMS Liverpool was involved in the most intense shore-bombardment of
the war. Liverpool had been tasked by a patrol aircraft to fire
illumination rounds over the city of Zlitan.
While conducting this mission, Liverpool
came under fire from a Loyalist shore-battery. Liverpool
responded by firing three rounds from her 4.5 inch gun, silencing the battery.
Later on the same day, a patrol aircraft spotted a large pro-Gaddafi vehicle
convoy carrying weapons and ammunition. Liverpool
fired 54 shells from her 4.5 inch gun at the convoy, destroying or severely
damaging many of the vehicles. During the ensuing chaos on the ground, NATO
aircraft destroyed the remainder of the convoy.
The US and Britain were among those in favour of establishing the no-fly zone over Libya [AFP]
These are the key points:
- Demands "the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians".
- Demands that Libyan authorities "take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance".
- Authorises UN member states "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory".
- Decides "to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians", but says humanitarian flights and flights authorised by the UN and Arab League can take place.
- Strengthens the arms embargo imposed on February 26 by calling on UN member states "to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from" Libya if the country has information with "reasonable grounds" to believe the cargo contains banned military items, or that armed mercenaries are being transported.
- Orders all states to prevent any Libyan owned, operated, or registered aircraft - or any aircraft believed to be carrying prohibited weapons or mercenaries - to take off, land or overfly their territory without prior approval from the UN committee monitoring sanctions.
- Adds travel bans on the Libyan ambassador to Chad and the governor of Ghat, both directly involved in recruiting mercenaries for the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
- Extends an asset freeze to seven more individuals including three additional Gaddafi children, the defence minister, the director of military intelligence, the director of the external security organisation, and the secretary for utilities.
- Freezes the assets of five key financial institutions: the Central Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfoilio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.
- Asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an eight-member panel of experts to help the UN sanctions committee monitor implementation of sanctions against Libya.
The lies that lead to war
How the Government deceived Parliament, HM forces, the media and
the public into waging illegal wars with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
“War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946
The method used by British Governments to persuade the nation to wage war is as old as the hills - lie repeatedly about the illegality of war. The British Government used the same lie to promote the war with Libya as it had done for the wars with Afghanistan and Iraq - that military action by HM forces is lawful and authorised by the UN Security Council operating under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
On March 21st 2011, shortly before 559 MPs voted in favour of illegal military action against Libya, the UK Government issued a statement making the false claim that the deployment of British forces against Libya was lawful and authorised by UN Security Council Resolution 1973; their note declared:
“The Attorney General has been consulted and Her Majesty's Government is satisfied that this Chapter VII authorisation to use all necessary measures provides a clear and unequivocal legal basis for deployment of UK forces and military assets to achieve the resolution's objectives”.
This Government statement, claiming that the armed attack on Libya would be legal, exemplifies the way in which British politicians, lawyers and civil servants pervert and break the law. By cross-checking Government statements against the laws governing the use of force, it can quickly be established that the wars with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are all illegal.
The law of war
The two main legal documents which govern the use of armed force in international affairs are the UN Charter and UN General Assembly Resolution 2625. The first lays down the law and the second explains how to interpret it.
The UN Charter
The UN Charter is the Statute which lays down the legally binding terms of this agreement in 111 Articles. Article 2 states the purposes of the United Nations and includes these rules:
2.3 All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace, security and justice are not endangered.
2.4 All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Chapter VII of the UN Charter (Articles 39 - 51) contains the rules governing the measures that the UN Security Council may take to bring about peace and security. Article 41 states:
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon members of the United Nations to apply such measures…
To a person with common sense the phrase not involving the use of armed force means not involving the use of armed force; so why do British Government lawyers repeatedly claim that the UN Security Council has authorised the use of armed force when it is clearly forbidden?
UN General Assembly Resolution 2625
In 1970 the United Nations agreed 51 new definitions of the law governing in UNGA Resolution 2625:
DECLARATION ON PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW CONCERNING FRIENDLY RELATIONS AND
CO-OPERATION AMONG STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS
This Declaration is one of the most important legal documents the world has ever produced; yet few if any public office holders in Britain or America have seen it or read it. It includes these rules:
Every State has the duty to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. Such a threat or use of force constitutes a violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations and shall never be employed as a means of settling international issues.
No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements are in violation of international law.
The principles of the Charter which are embodied in this Declaration constitute basic principles of international law, and consequently [the UN General Assembly] appeals to all States to be guided by these principles in their international conduct and to develop their mutual relations on the basis of the strict observance of these principles.
These laws are crystal clear. The use of force is prohibited. The use of armed force to attack other nations is a crime. No state or group of States such as NATO, ISAF or the EU, may intervene in another State’s affairs and every State must obey, uphold and enforce these rules.
The crimes associated with waging aggressive war, laid down in the Nuremburg Principles and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, are also clear. If any person, in furtherance of a state policy, orders the use of force to attack members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, that person and everyone who takes part in the attack is responsible for the consequences, breaks international law and, if it results in the deaths of innocent people, commits the universal crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, aggression or conduct ancillary to such crimes.
So why do British and NATO politicians, lawyers and civil servants interpret phrases such as all necessary measures, humanitarian intervention, and not involving the use of armed force to mean using weapons of mass destruction such as cruise missiles, rockets, drones, bombs and radioactive munitions to invade and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq or to attack Libya? Could the real reason for these heinous decisions to kill innocent civilians and destroy weaker nations be a psychopathic lack of conscience and moral values, or is it perhaps because they know that they control the law enforcement processes and can ensure that they will never be arrested, prosecuted or convicted for their war crimes, for the suffering inflicted on their victims or the horrific consequences of their decisions.
For more than sixty years UK Government Ministers, officers and lawyers have deceived everyone over the illegality of war and armed conflict and have got away with it. These massacres of Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan civilians in which at least 450,000 children have died and more than 1m have been injured and maimed since 2001 are the worst atrocities in British history. Why is it then that not one member of the UK establishment is willing to call a halt to the killing or speak out against it? Why is it that those with the power to stop the wars and enforce the laws repeatedly refuse to do so?
It is time for law abiding citizens everywhere to take a stand against Britain’s political, civil, judicial and military leaders and institutions to ensure that the killing is stopped, the resort to war is ended and those responsible for the deaths of 1.5m civilians are arrested and prosecuted for their crimes.