United Nations A/hrc/19/68

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3. Thuwar

79. The Commission found that thuwar also used inherently indiscriminate weapons in their military offensives against cities perceived as loyalist. Of particular concern is their conduct in Sirte. The Commission found that almost every building exhibited damage. The most common damage and weapon debris observed was from Grad rockets, and heavy machine-gun fire from 14.5mm and 23mm weapons. Dozens of buildings are uninhabitable due to their structural integrity being compromised, with multiple walls and roofs collapsed. Numerous buildings exhibited impacts from shells consistent with fire from 106mm recoilless rifles and 107mm rocket artillery, using both High-Explosive Anti-Tank rounds and High Explosive Squash Head rounds. Although some of the buildings were likely used by the Qadhafi forces and were therefore legitimate targets for attacks, damage was so widespread as to be clearly indiscriminate in nature.

4. Conclusions

80. The Commission found that both the Qadhafi forces and the thuwar launched unguided munitions into residential areas in breach of the fundamental principle of distinction.

81. The Qadhafi forces launched sustained shelling on many towns and cities across Libya during the conflict. Some of these towns, such as Misrata, still contained civilians. The use of unguided weapons in these cases constituted an indiscriminate attack. While these attacks damaged and destroyed some apparently civilian objects such as mosques, the thuwar were using individual buildings for military purposes, removing their protected status.

82. The same principle applies to the thuwar’s attack on Sirte. The scale of the destruction there and the nature of the weaponry employed indicated that the attacks were indiscriminate.

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