NATO to limit airstrikes in Afghanistan
June 12, 2012 -- Updated 0035 GMT (0835 HKT)
An Afghan villager stands at a house hit by a NATO airstrike in Sajawand village in Logar province on Wednesday.
- NATO to restrict airstrikes against civilian homes
- Airstrikes won't be used where there's concern about civilian presence, NATO says
- The shift comes after a fatal strike last week
(CNN) -- NATO forces in Afghanistan will no longer use airstrikes against insurgent targets in civilian homes if "other means" to deal with the targets are available, a spokesman said Monday.
Forces "will continue to conduct operations against insurgents who use civilian dwellings, but when there is concern over the presence of civilians; air delivered munitions will not be employed while other means are available," Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings said.
The statement did not elaborate on what other means commanders would use.
The shift comes after an airstrike last week in Logar province that killed 18 people, including women and children. It was the latest of several such strikes that have upset relations between Afghanistan and the United States.
Top U.S. General's plan for Afghanistan
Part 2: U.S. plan for Afghanistan
Afghanistan, good enough?
NATO forces said the strike occurred when soldiers returned fire during a mission targeting a Taliban leader. An ISAF spokesman said insurgents were killed and security forces seized weapons and explosives.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai cut short a trip to China following the strike and summomed the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, to demand an end to the strikes.
"The President said that such kind of operations were against the context of the strategic partnership agreement and Afghanistan wants them to be stopped," the president's office said in a statement Saturday.
The change in policy will not hinder forces from pursuing insurgents, Cummings said.
"This restriction in no way limits our ability to take the fight to the enemy," he said. "Air dropped munitions against civilian dwellings represent a very small percentage of all of our air operations."
In the last six months, 10 of the 3,000 fixed-wing close air support missions flown by NATO involved strikes against civilian dwellings, Cummings said. Seven of those strikes resulted in civilian casualties, he said.
Part of complete coverage on
April 2, 2013 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
CNN's Anna Coren reports on how U.S. Special Forces are not just fighting terrorists in Afghanistan.
May 24, 2013 -- Updated 0924 GMT (1724 HKT)
With U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, CNN's Anna Coren reports on a Taliban firefight lasting more than 90 minutes.
April 1, 2013 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
Mallika Kapur has the story of a young Afghan graffiti artist who, despite Taliban threats, pushes for free expression.
-- Updated GMT ( HKT)
For the first time, a Pakistan government served its full term and the lack of a military coup attempt shows government is more stable than many think.
February 16, 2013 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
President Obama has revealed new details about the troop withdrawal. But there are several key issues that still must be resolved.
February 11, 2013 -- Updated 1235 GMT (2035 HKT)
Author William Dalrymple's new book "Return of a King" looks at the history of foreign-led wars in Afghanistan.
CNN.com's 'Home and Away' initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
February 12, 2013 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
Former Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha receives the Medal of Honor for his role in one of the worst ground attacks of the Afghanistan war.
February 12, 2013 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
On Monday Esquire magazine published a massive profile of the Navy SEAL who says he shot Osama bin Laden.
The mother of a little Afghan girl cannot face her daughter. She looks down in shame as she explains why she must hand her over to drug lords.
January 27, 2013 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
Aman Mojadidi, an American of Afghan descent, is an artist who has worked in Kabul and chosen particularly provocative themes.
January 10, 2013 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with President Barack Obama to discuss the post-2014 American presence in Afghanistan.
U.S. underestimates importance of Islam in making Afghanistan a better place, say authors.
November 30, 2012 -- Updated 0228 GMT (1028 HKT)
The number of people forced to flee their homes is increasing and the conditions for the displaced are far below international standards.
June 8, 2012 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
Unexploded munitions from war games in Afghanistan make a dangerous play ground for local children.
Her story of torture by the Taliban made her the iconic face of the oppression of women in Afghanistan.
Today's five most popular stories