US Defence Secretary Robert Gates says Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces have been planting bodies “of the people he’s killed” at the site of allied air strikes to apparently create an impression of civilian casualties.
“The truth of the matter is we have trouble coming up with proof of any civilian casualties that we have been responsible for,” said Defence Secretary Gates, according to a transcript released by CBS News, from an interview to air in full on “Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer”.
“We do have a lot of intelligence reporting about Gaddafi taking the bodies of the people he’s killed and putting them at the sites where we’ve attacked,” he added.
“We have been extremely careful in this military effort, and not just our pilots but the pilots of the other coalition air forces have really done an extraordinary job,” he said.
As part of a UN Security Council mandated no-fly zone over Libya, an international coalition – headed by the United States, Britain and France – has struck Gaddafi’s air capabilities and sought to protect Libyan civilians.
In a key part of the US administration’s information blitz on Libya, Defence Secretary Gates will be joined on Sunday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a number of influential TV political talk shows. Agencies