A war crime might be defined as the violation of war laws that are internationally accepted i.e. killing or murdering of civilians, hostages, women and children etc. It has now become a custom that whenever countries become economically strong and gain enough power and wealth as compared to others, they make use of that power and try to dominate other countries which are weaker and less powerful. The history of such events extend as long as 18th century or even before that. A number of reasons are there which become the cause of events as extreme as one would think. Some countries are afraid that their neighbor countries might attack them someday, while some countries worry that one particular country might become enough strong to take the control of whole world in their hands. Events such as these force the countries to launch military operations in other countries.However there has to be some solid evidence to support this desperate decision. Special task forces of each country include members who travel to those countries in order to find evidence or try to hack their websites in search of the proof. Without that proof, no country is allowed to violate the boundary rules of any other country. But we have witnessed a few events in the past in which even though there was no solid proof or evidence, a country by the shear use of its power and status was able to attack the other country while the whole world stood there watching. So, in this article here, we are going to have a look at 10 brutal military crimes named as operations. Some of these operation were for a shorter period of time while some are still ongoing and the dominating countries have no intention to fall back. Let us have a look at those:
10. Sri Lankan Civil War
Sri Lankan military forces faced some allegations particularly in the end stages of the conflict about the execution of war crimes during their operation. Attack on the building of civilians, blocking of food, medicines and water were also included in these allegations. Almost 70,000 people were forced to leave their homes and displace as a result of aerial attacks by the armed forces. When the final reports were revealed, the forces were actually proved to be the culprit and the satellite photos and videos were presented as the evidence to back up these accusations.
9. Syrian Civil War
Syrian civil war started in 2011 when the people protested against their president Bashar al Assad. The forces responded to these protests in a violent way and carried out different crackdowns in the country. Syrian armed forces killed many civilians including children and also tortured many in some awful ways. Men and women were tortured mentally as well as physically. There were sexual tortures, prevention of food, water and shelter for them. Thousands of people were detained from their homes. There were no medicines in the hospitals and the families of patients were killed brutally. Many young girls and women were raped and the forces also attacked on the journalists.
8. Kosovo War
Yugoslavian wars were declared the deadliest conflict after the World War 2. These wars were again a source of military crimes involving ethnic cleansing and rape etc. After the Bosnian war ended in 1995, Kosovar Albanians and Kosovo army were involved in a series of conflicts which ended in war crimes from which war rape was the most noticeable. It was an official order released to displace the target groups. According to a report, more than 35,000 women and children were held in the so called “rape camps” and its purpose was to impregnate the Croatian and Bosnian women. Stress, lack of access to a healthy reproduction caused some serious health risks among the women. However one thing which gets us all ashamed here is that the custodians and protectors of civilian rights were actually the perpetrators.
7. Rwanda Operation
This operation took place during 1994 between April and May and it is included in the list of genocides. Genocides are the acts in which a particular group of people from same religious, social or ethical group is destroyed completely. The reason behind this operation was the census which took place in 1993 and was conducted for all the Rwandans so that they can mention names of their tribes but things became out of control leading to a huge fight and as a result, 500,000 to 1,000,000 civilians were murdered. An interesting thing here is that the use of term “genocide” for that operation was prohibited at that time but then later when the facts were revealed, it was declared a proper genocide but that was too late to change anything.
6. Bosnian War
The duration of this war was almost 3.5 years from 1992 to 1995. It was a result of a fight between the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Serbian and Croatian people living in that country. This war was actually the result of separation of Yugoslavia. After the separation, a conflict arouse between the civilians when a census took place in 1991 in which 44% population declared themselves Muslim, 32.5% Serbians while 17% people called themselves Croatians. The first air strike was carried out on February 5th 1994 which killed 68 people and 144 were injured. After that a series of air attacks took place throughout the time. The number of casualties in this war ranged from 200,000 to 350,000 while almost a million people were considered either killed or missing during these wars. In another statement in 2006, it was revealed that 200,000 people were killed during the war, 50,000 women were raped and almost 220,000 people were forced to leave their homes. Ethnic cleansing, genocides and mass rape were the most commonly practiced war crimes during that period.
5. Ukrainian War
During the period of Adolf Hitler in 1941, Ukraine had to face one of the most brutal and stumbling war crimes of all times. The ideas presented by Hitler were backed up by other Nazi commanders and with this whole association, they managed to take almost 6 million prisoners of war with them while about 350,000 were starved and physically abused. An estimated 130,000 people died in the concentration camps throughout Ukraine. They were short of food and fresh water while all the food was distributed among the German officers. In 1943, Hitler demanded 300,000 tons of Ukrainian grain from the government. The Jews living in Ukraine were killed brutally. Almost 70,000 Jews were killed and two hundred thousand died in the camps. More than 100 colleges and 8,000 schools were destroyed while 50,000 books were either burnt or stolen. According to recent Soviet report, more than 50 million civilians were killed in Ukraine which also includes 9 million Jews. Material loss was approximated to worth about 1.2 trillion rubles.
4. Japanese War Crimes
Japanese war crimes occurred mainly during the Second World War. The Japanese military forces i.e. navy and army forces were responsible for killing of millions of civilians and prisoners during the war times. The attacks on Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong were carried out during these times and approximately 10 million people were killed by the Japanese army. 4 million Chinese were killed in the Japanese operations and 10 million during the war. More than three hundred thousand people were captured as prisoners but the actual figure extends to several hundred thousand. These prisoners were used for forced labor and they had to do face physical torture and abuse all the time. A million Philippine’s civilians were killed by the Japanese. The prisoners were used to carry out different surgical and biological experiments. Chemical weapons such as mustard gas, chlorine and nausea gas were used against the rival armies. There were also reports of Cannibalism and more than 2 million women from different parts of the world were captured and were forced to involve in sexual activities which explains the brutal behavior of these forces.
3. Iraq War
Another important war included in our list is the attack of US forces on Iraq back in 1989. Even though the government of United States continuously tried to defend its actions and the actions of its forces, several accusations were made regarding the war crimes committed in Iraq. One of the initial charges was the attempt of US to justify their attack on Iraq trying to hide the real cause. A total of 88,000 bombs were targeted on the Iraqi soil by US forces which is at least 5 to 6 times more than their attack on Hiroshima.
They cut off the food and water supplies for the civilians, there were no telephones or other means of communication. Almost 20,000 homes and apartments were destroyed in the initial attacks and the initial sum of local casualties was estimated to be 125,000. However the Red Crescent Society estimated at least 1 million deaths from which about 60% were children. Another accusation on the forces was that US military intentionally targeted and bombed military bases in Iraq, killed all soldiers who surrendered and destroyed property even after the ceasefire. Even though the forces regularly negated these accusations, the video footage’s and pictures on social media and news reports revealed the actual face of these attackers.
2. Afghanistan Operation
Another war which has been among the limelight for the past few years is the attack of US on the Afghan soil. It all started back in 2001 when the attacks of 9/11 took place. Osama bin Laden was considered responsible for these attacks and the US president demanded him from Al-Qaeda but they refused. As a result they launched an operation in Afghanistan to demolish Al-Qaeda from their core which is still going on. However during all these years, numerous war crimes were also committed by the US forces throughout these operations.
Millions of people became homeless, their lives became miserable. Health facilities, medicines, food and water became rare. Different torture cells were established by them in different parts of Afghanistan where they captured them and tortured in every possible way. One of the most notorious torture cells was in Bagram. About 645 prisoners were detained in this center and many died there during the torture including the likes of Habibullah and Dilawar. Several footages were released on social websites and internet showing the US officers torturing Afghan citizens, killing them and then burying their bodies. After more than 12 years of continuous operations and attacks, they are yet to find any major progress. Now Afghanistan is listed at the top in the list of most dangerous countries to live in 2014.
1. Israel’s Attacks on Palestine
The most recent and the most brutal war crimes which the whole world is witnessing these days are the attacks of Israeli forces on Palestine. This conflict is recognized worldwide as the most intractable conflict between the two nations. Even though the major conflict arouse in early 21st century but the roots of these nations go as back as 1920. Even though several pacts were signed between both the nations but some problems are still unsolved including major problems of borders and security, water systems etc.
However during the times of these attacks, several war crimes were committed extensively by the Israeli forces. In the first few weeks, hundreds of attacks were made on the residential places in Palestine which left thousands of civilians homeless.After that continuous small and large attacks were witnessed which resulted in the deaths of Innocent Babies. In the recent days, the conflict has again raised its peak level and the Israeli attacks have become more severe than ever.Every day we hear the news of air attacks in the news and many innocent children also lose their lives in them.The sad part here is that none of the stronger nations in the world are taking any action against this brutality even though there is a complete charter signed by all the nations which prohibits them of committing war crimes, killing innocent civilians and destroying properties.
In another recent report, it has been revealed that there were also some cases of genocides witnessed in Palestine by the Israeli forces. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in 2013 declared that the accusations of genocides were true. The whole world fear that if immediate actions are not taken, the outcomes of this war will be more severe than anticipated.