1. New Rules

    Airstrikes on Civilian Homes Restricted

    (FILES) - A French soldier of the third RIMA (RÈgiment d'infanterie de Marine) patrols in Sayed Abad village in Afghanistan's Wardak Province on December 17, 2008. The French president's office on Saturday confirmed that four French soldiers were killed and five were wounded in an attack claimed by the Taliban in Afghanistan's eastern Kapisa province. AFP PHOTO/ JOEL SAGET        (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/GettyImages)

    Joel Saget, AFP / Getty Images

    NATO is changing its approach to airstrikes on Taliban fighters who hide in residential homes after an attack last week left 18 civilians dead. Gen. John R. Allen, the senior allied commander, ordered strikes on residential homes be halted after the botched Afghanistan mission. “Given our commitment to protect Afghan civilians, restricting the use of air-delivered munitions against insurgents within civilian dwellings is a prudent and logical step,” a spokesman said. The move was seen as a triumph for President Hamid Karzai, who had pushed for more safety for civilians in his country. American officials said the stoppage would not halt all operations against insurgents who use civilian dwellings for shelter, only those where airstrikes are the only option.

    Read it at New York Times