In July 2007, two employees of the Reuters news agency were among several killed in Iraq when US military forces opened fire on them. Saeed Chmagh, 40, a driver with the agency with a wife and four children, and Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, a war photographer, were among those killed.
The US military claimed the victims died in battle between US forces and insurgents, and that the conduct of the pilots and guncrew was “in accordance with laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement”. Reuters filed for the video of the attack to be made public under the US’s Freedom of Information Act.
The full video, shot from the primary helicopters, is now up on wikileaks and it is blood-curdling for the casualness with which civilians are hunted down. James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine calls the video the “most damaging documentation of abuse since Abu-Ghraib”.
“As you watch, imagine the reaction in the US if the people on the ground had been Americans and the people on the machine guns had been Iraqi, Russian, Chinese, or any other nationality.”
From 2003-2009, a total of 139 journalists have been killed in Iraq in the line of duty.
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