|News and opinions on situation in Iraq|
|08/04/04||Targeted Fallujah Mosque … Actually Full of Worshipers … Gen. Kimmet Says They Were the Enemy…|
|TMPress International NewswireTMPress ™ – United News & Press Features
(TMPress International – New York -April 8, 2004) – Targeted Fallujah Mosque … Actually Full of Worshipers … Gen. Kimmet Says They Were the Enemy … On Wednesday in Fallujah, U.S. Marines battled to get to the site around the Abdel-Aziz al-Samarrai mosque, which commanders on the scene said insurgents were using as a base despite a six-hour battle the day before to uproot them. A U.S. Cobra helicopter was deployed to support the Marines and rocketed the Mosque, followed by F-16 which dropped a laser-guided bomb at the mosque wall.
Military commanders claimed that it was a legitimate target as a large number of insurgents were killed in the battle. Iraqi witnesses had a different story, which is being confirmed medial officials in the 200,000 plus city said some 40 people gathering for prayers were killed in the air strike on the mosque compound, but U.S. officials said they had no report of civilians killed. Instead the Coalition spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt was quoted as saying, `I understand there was a large casualty toll taken by … `the enemy.' He said U.S. Marines did not attack the mosque until it became clear enemy fighters were inside and using it to cover their attacks, nullifying the holy site's protections under the Geneva Conventions. However local bystanders disputed that story indicating rebel insurgents had been near the area of the mosque, not inside – only worshippers.
As the attack on Fallujah continues, Marines are not only battling the limited insurgents that existed there and who were responsible for the attacks and mutilations of the four U.S. Blackwater Security Agents. Reports are now surfacing that battles are now involving local citizenry and local Iraqi Police trained by the Coalition, who had nothing to do with the attacks on the U.S. Blackwater Security Agents – but who are offended at the way the U.S. has treated the city over the last year and are destined to defend it. This is the same Fallujah where dozens of unarmed residents, including protesting students confronting occupying troops of April 2003 were indiscriminately fired upon and killed.
This is troublesome because collateral damage is likely to stiffen resistance and cause not only Sunni uprising, but rather an IraqiÊunification of Sunni-Shi'a insurgency forces to join up as a country wide battle for Iraq's cities, which now seems to be destined to happen all over again – a year later. The Coalition is adamant that they will pacify and quell the uprisings, in order to hand off governmental functions of a so-called `Iraqi Sovereignty' to whatever Provisional Iraqi Authority that exists by the June 30 deadline set by the White House. A lofty goal indeed! – By John Osborne, Sr. Political Editor – TMPress International Newswire
© 2004 TMPress International Newswire. Reprint granted without fee or license, please query for reprint permission.
Article Sources/Citations: TMPress International, newswire services, Newsweek and CNN.
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