Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Firefight in Najaf, a Massacre?

The article below, from the Independent makes the most sense of the firefight in Najaf when so many people lost their lives the other day.

US 'victory' against cult leader was 'massacre'
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Published: 31 January 2007

"There are growing suspicions that the official story of the battle outside Najaf is a fabrication."
"A picture is beginning to emerge of a clash between an Iraqi Shia tribe on a pilgrimage to Najaf and an Iraqi army checkpoint that led the US to intervene with devastating effect."
"The incident reportedly began when a procession of 200 pilgrims was on its way, on foot, to celebrate Ashura in Najaf."
"Heading the procession was the chief of the tribe, Hajj Sa'ad Sa'ad Nayif al-Hatemi..."
"When they reached an Iraqi army checkpoint it opened fire, killing Mr Hatemi ..."
"The tribe, fully armed because they were travelling at night, then assaulted the checkpoint to avenge their fallen chief."
"Meanwhile, the soldiers and police at the checkpoint called up their commanders saying they were under attack from al-Qai'da..."
"Reinforcements poured in..."
"This account cannot be substantiated ... [But] it would explain the disparity between the government casualties ... and the great number of their opponents killed and wounded."
"The Iraqi authorities have sealed the site and are not letting reporters talk to the wounded."

1 comment:

GDAEman said...

Good story. What I found interesting was that the groups attacked were Shia, but advocate a supreme religious leader being Sunni. They advocate unity with Sunnis. Dahr Jamail and Juan Cole Read More