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Jimmy Carter Speaks In Grand Rapids, Says Civilians At Risk If U.S. Bombs Islamic State

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A U.S. bombing attack against the Islamic State forces in Iraq could end up killing more civilians than militants unless there are American spotters on the ground, former President Jimmy Carter said Monday during an appearance at a community college in western Michigan.

The 39th president and his wife, Rosalynn, spoke for about 45 minutes as part of Grand Rapids Community College's Diversity Lecture Series.

The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner addressed a range of topics and answered student questions.

Carter said that he normally opposes the use of U.S. military force to solve problems. He said that the U.S. needs to exercise care so as not to harm noncombatants if it uses air power to attack the militants who refer to themselves as the Islamic State, sometimes referred to as ISIS.

"When ISIS forces go into a city and take it over, and then the United States goes over there with bombers and drops bombs, we are very likely to kill more civilians than ISIS members," Carter said in a video broadcast by WOOD-TV. "That's why it's very necessary for us to have our own people on the ground that can give us accurate information about exactly where to let a missile land or a bomb land to make sure that it kills the ISIS terrorists instead of normal civilians."

Carter has written 28 books, including "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power." It was released in March.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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