Eyewitness Account of U.S. Airstrike Killing Innocent Iraqi Family

The results of “counter-insurgency” are rarely reported in detail from the ground. But buried on page A12 of Wedneday’s Washington Post was this chilling first-hand account from a Post correspondent.

BAGHDAD, Jan. 3 — U.S. pilots targeting a house where they believed insurgents had taken shelter killed a family of 12, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. The dead included women and children whose bodies were recovered in the nightclothes and blankets in which they had apparently been sleeping.

A Washington Post special correspondent watched as the corpses of three women and three boys who appeared to be younger than 10 were removed Tuesday from the house outside the town of Baiji, 150 miles north of Baghdad.

While the Department of Defense does report the number of daily air sorties (aka close-air-support missions… supporting coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities…), the last time the word “airstrike” was even printed in a DoD press release was one year ago. Yes, before Rummy out-ed the “i” word (even before he claimed to resign twice), he axed “airstrike.” See the January 9, 2005 American Forces Press Release: “Airstrike Hits Wrong Target, Insurgent Crackdown Continues.”

Aftermath of a U.S. airstrike in Baiji. A dozen civilians, including women and children were killed.

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