Sunday, May 27, 2007

Disuptes over US Airstrike in Baghdad, Blackwater Shooting of Iraqi Driver

Gas line - Iraq

I've read in a couple places how the news coming out of Iraq almost never seems to include airstrikes even though you know damn well they're taking place. I'd noticed that too.

Blackwater is also rarely mentioned.

And they certainly won't report about air strikes on innocent people in line to buy fuel.
Several controversial incidents involving US forces and US-contracted guards show up in today’s Sunday papers, including an airstrike in Sadr City which the American military says frustrated an ambush on a US-Iraqi raiding party, and which locals say struck civilians waiting to refuel their cars.

Two other controversial incidents involved Blackwater, the largest security contractor in Iraq, which was involved in two shooting events last week, including the killing of an Iraqi motorist which led to a standoff with Iraqi forces.


Did US forces thwart an ambush or did they kill five people waiting in Baghdad’s notoriously long lines for gasoline? A US-Iraqi raid in Sadr City on Saturday morning targeted a suspected smuggler of weapons and fighters between Iraq and Iran. After the operation, US forces called in airstrikes on vehicles in the area as they withdrew. The US military said that “nine vehicles moved into the target area and were positioning themselves to block and ambush," but eyewitnesses, a Mahdi Army leader, and an Interior Ministry official said that the five who died in the strikes were not insurgents, as US forces claimed, but were cars lined up at a gas station, according to accounts in both the Times and the Post.

(read more)

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