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US Bombing Kills 500 Baghdad Civillians

US forces boast of successful “blitz” as Iraq mourns 500 civilians killed

Presscue
January 22, 2008

Fbiiraqisbein_mn US forces boasted of successfully completing the aerial bombing “blitz” which flattened the Baghdad suburb of Arab Jabour, as Iraqis mourned the more than 500 civilians killed when 114,500 pounds of bombs rained down for ten days on the residential area home to more than 120,000 people.

While Iraqi politicians, both Sunni and Shiite, condemned the air raids which also forced thousands of other civilians to flee their homes, the US commanders justified the aerial bombardment on the grounds that “drop was designed to eliminate al Qaeda’s tactical advantage,” ahead of a ground assault to flush out militants from the area.

“The strikes that we concluded (Jan. 20) were focused on IEDs and caches that we have targeted, that will allow us to get our ground troops further into the zone,” Army Col. Terry Ferrell, commander of 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, with responsibility for the Arab Jabour portion of Multinational Division Center, said.

But Iraqi authorities in the area said described the bombing was “random and indiscriminate”, and claimed that at least 500 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed by the air raids in the Sunni majority town.

Ferrell rejected the claim, saying that great care was taken in selecting targets, as the Army worked side by side with the Air Force to prevent collateral damage to civilians and property.

“The process that we go through to orchestrate an event of this magnitude, or any targeting cycle that we work together with the Air Force, is a very detailed, deliberate process,” Ferrell said. “We identify the targets, and they sit beside us, and through detailed and thorough analysis, we target it, they help analyze it, describe what effects we want to achieve, and then they work back through the Air Force system to get the desired effects.”

“This heinous crime show to the whole world the extent of the viciousness of the perpetrators who are targeting lives of the people, and not to respect the rights and honor of the human being having a place in all heavenly religions,” Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI), the highest Sunni authority in Iraq, stated last week.

The scholars called upon the international community, Arab League and all human right organizations in the world, requesting them to “get out of the circle of silent killers, and to have a role even if at minimal degree to stand against the perpetrators of these crimes.”

US forces carried out a similar massacre in Fallujah in November 2004, which killed more around 3,000 civilians, in one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq war.

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