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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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US warplanes pound Baghdad

US warplanes pound Baghdad

Press TV
January 10, 2008


US jet fighters have launched a massive air offensive on parts of Baghdad, hitting nearly 40 targets in the war-torn Iraqi capital.

US warplanes dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on more than 40 targets on Baghdad’s southern outskirts, the military said in a statement.

The US Air Force dispatched two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighter jets, aiming at three large target areas in Arab Jabour.

The statement allegedly said that the strike had been on al Qaeda targets. It gave no details of casualties.

US jet fighters have launched a massive air offensive on parts of Baghdad, hitting nearly 40 targets in the war-torn Iraqi capital.

US warplanes dropped 40,000 pounds of bombs on more than 40 targets on Baghdad’s southern outskirts, the military said in a statement.

The US Air Force dispatched two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighter jets, aiming at three large target areas in Arab Jabour.

The statement allegedly said that the strike had been on al Qaeda targets. It gave no details of casualties.

 

Blackwater drops CS gas on Military in 2005

NY Times
January 10, 2008

The helicopter was hovering over a Baghdad checkpoint into the Green Zone, one typically crowded with cars, Iraqi civilians and United States military personnel.

Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.

“This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous,” Capt. Kincy Clark of the Army, the senior officer at the scene, wrote later that day. “It’s not a good thing to cause soldiers who are standing guard against car bombs, snipers and suicide bombers to cover their faces, choke, cough and otherwise degrade our awareness.”

Both the helicopter and the vehicle involved in the incident at the Assassins’ Gate checkpoint were not from the United States military, but were part of a convoy operated by Blackwater Worldwide, the private security contractor that is under scrutiny for its role in a series of violent episodes in Iraq, including a September shooting in downtown Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead.

None of the American soldiers exposed to the chemical, which is similar to tear gas, required medical attention, and it is not clear if any Iraqis did. Still, the previously undisclosed incident has raised significant new questions about the role of private security contractors in Iraq, and whether they operate under the same rules of engagement and international treaty obligations that the American military observes.

“You run into this issue time and again with Blackwater, where the rules that apply to the U.S. military don’t seem to apply to Blackwater,” said Scott L. Silliman, the executive director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at the Duke University School of Law.

Read Full Article Here

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