A Belgian lawyer has filed a legal action in a Brussels court accusing the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, General Tommy Franks, of war crimes.
Lawyer Jan Fermon filed the complaint on behalf of a group of Iraqis who he describes as victims of cluster bombs and other American weapons. Mr. Fermon says there is evidence to show that during the first two days U.S. forces were in Baghdad, they were not careful enough to avoid civilian casualties.
Besides General Franks, another target of the lawsuit is Colonel Bryan McCoy. Mr. Fermon accuses him of permitting soldiers to fire on ambulances suspected of carrying enemy forces.
A Brussels prosecutor will study the documents before deciding if a case should be opened.
The senior U.S. general, Richard Myers, said Tuesday the complaint against the American military officers is very serious. On a visit to NATO headquarters in the Belgian capital, Brussels, he was quoted as saying it could affect travel arrangements by U.S. officials.