Michael Smith at the Sunday Times
is at it again....This time with Annex A
, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice appended to the Cabinet Office briefing paper on Iraq of July 21, 2002. It notes that "This advice was originally written in March 2002."
I realize that the pre-war bombings are old news....but it sure is fun to see another leaked document out of the UK!
British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office.
A SHARP increase in British and American bombing raids on Iraq in the run-up to war "to put pressure on the regime" was illegal under international law, according to leaked Foreign Office legal advice.
The advice was first provided to senior ministers in March 2002. Two months later RAF and USAF jets began "spikes of activity" designed to goad Saddam Hussein into retaliating and giving the allies a pretext for war.
The Foreign Office advice shows military action to pressurise the regime was "not consistent with" UN law, despite American claims that it was.
This is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal advice appended as Annex A to the Cabinet Office briefing paper on Iraq of July 21, 2002. This advice was originally written in March 2002.
Here is the section of that deals w/the illegality of pre-war bombing of Iraqi No Fly Zones.
(ii) No Fly Zones (NFZs)
- The NFZs over Northern and Southern Iraq are not established by UN Security Council Resolutions. They were established in 1991 and 1992 on the basis that they were necessary and proportionate steps taken to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Prior to the establishment of the Northern NFZ the Security Council had adopted resolution 688 (1991) on 5 April 1991 in which the Council stated that it was gravely concerned by the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, which had led to a massive refugee flow, and that it was deeply disturbed by the magnitude of the human suffering involved. The resolution condemned that repression of the Iraqi civilian population and demanded that Iraq immediately end the repression. In our view, the purpose of the NFZs is to monitor Iraqi compliance with the provisions of resolution 688. UK and US aircraft patrolling the NFZs are entitled to use force in self-defence where such a use of force is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or imminent attack from Iraqi ground systems.
- The US have on occasion claimed that the purpose of the NFZs is to enforce Iraqi compliance with resolutions 687 or 688. This view is not consistent with resolution 687, which does not deal with the repression of the Iraqi civilian population, or with resolution 688, which was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and does not contain any provision for enforcement. Nor (as it is sometimes claimed) were the current NFZs provided for in the Safwan agreement, a provisional agreement between coalition and Iraqi military commanders of 3 March 1991, laying down military conditions for the cease-fire which did not contain any reference to the NFZs..