Collateral Murder, 5 Apr 2010

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5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting three airstrikes from a US Apache helicopter on July 12, 2007 in New Baghdad, Iraq. At least eighteen people were killed in the airstrikes, including two journalists working for Reuters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen.

The video was recorded by the gunsight camera on the Apache helicopter, identified as Crazyhorse 18, and is accompanied by the radio communications of the helicopter gunmen as they communicate with their commanders and troops on the ground.

When the video begins, the helicopter is circling above the city. It then focuses in on a group of men walking in the street, including the Reuters journalists. The soldiers in the helicopter state that they see members of the group carrying weapons, ask their commanding officers for permission to engage (fire), and fire upon the group with 30mm rounds.

The camera then follows Chmagh as he crawls along the road, and the soldiers can be heard urging him to pick up a weapon. A van, which was later learned to be carrying two children to school along with their father, arrives and several men pick Chmagh up and begin to carry him toward the van. The helicopter requests and is given permission to fire upon the van as it tries to leave. They fire upon the van with 30mm rounds.

The video then shows ground troops arriving at the area. A soldier can be seen running as he carries one of the children wounded in the attack on the van.

In the third attack depicted in the video, the Apache helicopter fires upon a building with Hellfire missiles. The video shows several armed and unarmed people entering the building, which is described as abandoned or under construction. The building was later learned to be occupied by three families. The helicopter requests and receives permission to fire upon the building, and shoots three Hellfire missiles. A man can be seen walking in front of the building as the first missile is shot, and several people helping the wounded are visible around the building as the second and third missiles hit.

After the incidents, Reuters filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the video, without success. Several scenes from this video were described by the Washington Post reporter David Finkel in his book "The Good Soldiers". The Washington Post later stated that they never had the video.

Category:  Other,People
Published:  5 years ago

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