Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Meanwhile, this war thing gets better and better.
US troops shot and killed seven Iraqi civilians - including women and children - in a van at checkpoint in southern Iraq when the driver did not stop as ordered, US Central Command said.
However, an American journalist who was at the scene said 10 Iraqis were killed yesterday, including five young children.
The soldiers were from the 3rd Infantry Division, which lost four soldiers on Saturday at another checkpoint when an Iraqi soldier dressed as a civilian detonated a car bomb in a suicide attack.
The Central Command said initial reports from yesterday's confrontation indicated the soldiers followed the rules of engagement to protect themselves.
"In light of recent terrorist attacks by the Iraqi regime, the soldiers exercised considerable restraint to avoid the unnecessary loss of life," the statement said.
Yes, it could've been so much worse. Why, they might've killed everyone instead of just most of them. Here's more:
Lt Cdr Owens says the military has opened an investigation into the incident and is trying to find out if any of the car's occupants were hurt before the troops opened fire.
No sense taking the blame for them all if we can avoid it, eh.
Thanks for both of these articles goes to Heath Gibson, who rightly notes what "fuel for the anti-war fire" these incidents are providing. Of course, our American friends' increasing skill at friendly fire can't be hurting much either:
British soldiers injured when an American "tankbuster" aircraft attacked their convoy, killing one of their comrades, have hit out angrily at the "cowboy" pilot.
Troops wounded in Friday's attack yesterday accused the A-10 Thunderbolt pilot of "incompetence and negligence" while others privately called for a manslaughter prosecution.
The comments came as the US's most senior military official vowed to make it his quest to stop future "friendly fire" tragedies.
General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, apologised for the deadly error by the A-10 in southern Iraq.
But the crews of the two British forward reconnaissance Scimitar light tanks attacked by the A-10 could not contain their anger.
Lance-Corporal Steven Gerrard, 33, who is now in the hospital ship RFA Argus in the Gulf, said: "I can command my vehicle. I can keep it from being attacked. What I have not been trained to do is look over my shoulder to see whether an American is shooting at me."