The battle in Iraq continues, and to all appearances, it’s going to be even more severe, which in its turn will entail more losses on both parties of the conflict. But as it’s stipulated by the realities of a propaganda war, neither Iraq nor the US/UK coalition command will report the exact figure of losses. Especially because the allied troops are already in a great mess they have made themselves.
Reports about human losses among the allied troops, people killed outside military operations in Iraq have become frequent. It seems that the US Central Command prefers to admit that American and British servicemen die in accidents than to say they are killed with Iraqi bullets. Probably this behavior line is logic to some extent: the USA and Great Britain don’t like to admit once again that the Iraqi army proved to be strong enough to repulse attacks of “the soldiers of the 21st century.” And instances of death of coalition servicemen in air crashes or under their own missiles can be explained as reverses of war. But in fact, these very reverses demonstrate the only established fact: the coalition command turned out to be not ready enough to fight in Iraq.
Here are just few notorious accidents when coalition soldiers were killed by their co-servicemen.
March 21. US’s AH-1 Cobra helicopter fired at M1 A1 Abrams; a member of the tank crew was wounded.
March 22. Two Britain’s Sea King helicopters collided over the Persian Gulf through the pilots’ fault. Eight people, 7 Britons and 1 American were killed.
March 23. British Tornado fighter was brought down by an American missile. Both pilots died. The same day a serviceman from the 101st US Army Airborne Division bombarded a command tent with grenades. As a result of the incident two people, a major-general among them, were killed, 14 wounded.
March 26. Britain’s Challenger II tank was put out of action by the coalition troops near Basra; two member of the tank crew were killed.
March 27. A group of US marines was fired by their own troops near An-Nasiriya; 37 soldiers wounded and 6 armored vehicles destroyed.
March 31. Three American marines died in a catastrophe of US’s UH-1 Huey in southern Iraq; the allied command reports the helicopter wasn’t brought down by the Iraqi army.
The above mentioned information concerns only losses of coalition troops. But besides these losses, the allied troops sometimes fired at civilians, and not only Iraqis (remember the bus incident at the Syria-Iraq border on March 23 when as a result of an attack by an American battle plane five Syrian civilians were killed).
One may say that nobody is secured against casualties, even the most tragic ones at the war time. But these casualties were apparent already in the First Gulf War in 1991. As American War Library reports, 49% of US soldiers were killed by their co-servicemen during the war in 1991.
It’s interesting if George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney were aware of this sad statistics. It’s unlikely that the US command attached much importance to this statistics when they stood up for the war campaign in Iraq and declared that the US/US troops were wonderfully trained and equipped for the war. Another, rather rhetoric question arises in this connection: do the above mentioned officials feel responsible for the absurd deaths of American soldiers? Or do they focus more on prospective contracts for US’s Halliburton?
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
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