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Re: 10,000 figure

Colin wrote:

>1. I've never seen reliable casualty estimates from "Desert Fox".
>Throughout 1998, critics of the US/UK repeated threats to bomb referred to
>Pentagon "medium scenario" estimate that bombing would kill 10,000
>civilians.  I do not remember when that estimate was developed; it may have
>been developed prior to the 1991 bombing.  I have seen no suggestion that
>actual casualties were anywhere near this figure.  In general, the problem
>with "confirmed reports" is that only the Iraqi government is in a position
>to produce such reports.

The 10,000 figure apparently appeared in The Washington Post  in an article
entitled "Clinton Advisors Split on Halting Attack," p. A1, November 16.

According to the American Friends Service Committee this article:

'... reported that the Pentagon warned President Clinton that the military
attack planned in November 1998 might possibly kill 10,000 Iraqis; one
administration official apparently described this as the "medium case
scenario." ' (Child and Maternal Health and Nutrition in Iraq under
Sanctions, American Friends Service Committee, 22nd January 1999)

If this is correct, then the estimate was for an attack that never took
place [ie. November '98] and which might well have been planned to be on a
much greater scale than 'Desert Fox' (which only lasted 4 days).

Like Colin, I too have never seen any reliable casualty figures for Desert
Fox, though the piece below contains some information from the ICRC about
people wounded in the attack.

Best wishes,

voices uk

Source: Reuters
Date: 29 Dec 1998

Red Cross sees some 230 wounded in Iraqi hospitals

By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA, Dec 29 (Reuters) - International Committee of the Red Cross
delegates visiting Iraqi hospitals have seen about 230 people, mainly
civilians, apparently wounded during the recent U.S.-British air strikes, a
spokesman said on Tuesday.

The chief spokesman at the Swiss-run humanitarian agency in Geneva, Urs
Boegli, said that about 200 of these were in Baghdad's three large

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said last week that the four-night
campaign of air strikes had killed 62 soldiers and wounded 180. Aziz
described civilian casualties as "much, much more", but gave no figures.

ICRC delegates have visited 18 hospitals in Iraq since the United States and
Britain launched the raids on December 17, he said. The agency had no figure
for deaths among civilians or armed forces.

The ICRC, a neutral intermediary between warring parties, has 10 delegates
based in Baghdad.

"Today we are winding up our tour of hospitals in Iraq. We think we have
seen 230 wounded," Boegli told Reuters. "They appear to be largely
civilians -- children, women and men.

"We have distributed surgical supplies for about 500 cases -- half for
immediate use and half as reserve supplies."

Medical supplies and blankets have been distributed to hospitals jointly
with the Iraqi Red Crescent organisation, he added.

ICRC delegates are helping to repair a hospital in Tikrit, the family home
of President Saddam Hussein, which was "blast-damaged" during the air
strikes, Boegli said.

Windows were blown out and lights damaged at the 400-bed hospital about 150
km (93 miles) north of the capital, he said. "We are also trying to restore
hot water there."

Robert Watkins, who heads a four-person delegation of the International
Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Baghdad working
closely with its member, the Iraqi Red Crescent, declined to estimate

"Clearly there are people who were killed or injured as a result of the
bombings. It is not an enormous number, we are certainly able to cope,"
Watkins, now in Geneva, told Reuters.

ICRC delegates continue to prop up Iraq's dilapidated water system to
provide clean drinking water, Boegli said.

The 30-year-old system has been in decline since the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war
due to a lack of spare parts and a "brain drain" after engineers left the
country, he said, "but there is not much new damage".

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