Andrew Buncombe in Washington – 2004-10-07 23:32:38
WASHIGTON (October 6, 2004) — The Pentagon said yesterday it was investigating cockpit video footage that shows American pilots attacking and killing a group of apparently unarmed Iraqi civilians.
The 30-second clip shows the pilot targeting the group of people in a street in the city of Fallujah and asking his mission controllers whether he should “take them out”.
He is told to do so and, shortly afterwards, the footage shows a huge explosion where the people were. A second voice can be heard on the clip saying: “Oh, dude.”
The existence of the video, taken last April inside the cockpit of a US F-16 fighter has been known for some time, though last night’s broadcast by Channel 4 News is believed to be the first time a mainstream broadcaster has shown the footage.
At no point during the exchange between the pilot and controllers does anyone ask whether the Iraqis are armed or posing a threat. Critics say it proves war crimes are being committed.
‘Don’t Shoot Children… Unless they Are Armed.’
Gar Smith / EAW
In a October 7, broadcast on ABC World News, combat footage taken by an Australian journalist during the siege of Samarra included a scene of a young boy running into an open door while a US soldier could be heard advising: “Don’t kill the children. Unless they’re carrying a weapon.”
Additional footage documented a force of 100 US soldiers trapped for hours in a building by two insurgent snipers. They requested air support to remove the snipers. It was promised but never arrived.
The trapped soldiers then requested tank support to remove the snipers. The tanks never arrived. Finally the trapped soldiers were told that they would have to deal with the sniper problem by themselves.
Later in the video, US troops fire at insurgent snipers and suddenly find themselves under fire from US forces operating nearby. The “friendly fire” episode continues for many minutes. Thousands of rounds are fired before the release of red smoke flares convinces the two US teams that they have been firing on “friendlies.”