US kills Iraqi firemen in error

#1
The US military has admitted that its soldiers have shot and killed four Iraqi firemen after mistaking the fire engine for one hijacked by fighters.


Monday's killings happened in the western city of Falluja when the unarmed firefighters got out of their vehicle and were fired upon by US soldiers.

A statement describing the incident said: "After receiving word that a fire truck and its crew were just hijacked, coalition forces pulled over a fire truck matching that description.

"The suspected insurgents were in fact firefighters responding to a call. The fire truck number did not match the one of the hijacked truck. All four of the firefighters that exited the vehicle died.

"Minutes later, another fire truck was spotted and pulled over in an area nearby. The occupants fled. It was determined that this truck number did match the truck that was hijacked
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/26820356-B75C-4487-A672-6FCC09CA8A48.htm
 
#2
PartTimePongo said:
A statement describing the incident said: "After receiving word that a fire truck and its crew were just hijacked, coalition forces pulled over a fire truck matching that description. - What, it was red and had flashing lights, erm like a fire engine!
My bold.
 
#3
Horridlittleman said:
PartTimePongo said:
A statement describing the incident said: "After receiving word that a fire truck and its crew were just hijacked, coalition forces pulled over a fire truck matching that description. - What, it was red and had flashing lights, erm like a fire engine!
My bold.
What else were they to do? Ignore it?
 
#6
Agent_Smith said:
Horridlittleman said:
PartTimePongo said:
A statement describing the incident said: "After receiving word that a fire truck and its crew were just hijacked, coalition forces pulled over a fire truck matching that description. - What, it was red and had flashing lights, erm like a fire engine!
My bold.
What else were they to do? Ignore it?

PartTimePongo said:
"The suspected insurgents were in fact firefighters responding to a call. The fire truck number did not match the one of the hijacked truck. All four of the firefighters that exited the vehicle died.

"Minutes later, another fire truck was spotted and pulled over in an area nearby. The occupants fled. It was determined that this truck number did match the truck that was hijacked
My bold (again). I'm not saying that mistakes don't get made, but this just seems pointless.
 
#7
You wait for one and then two come along together.

Too confusing for those with limited intelligence.
 
#8
Impossible to pass comment without knowing the situation on the ground. The yanks are pretty useless at times, but I doubt even they pulled over a firetruck and brassed up its occupants without some kind of reason.
 
#9
You got it in one - limited intelligence (of the soldiers on the ground!)>
 
#10
Guys, get real!

The yanks get a shout that insurgents have stolen a fire truck. They head on out to stop it, and when they encouter one, they pull it over.

Going by past experience, the yanks will avoid getting to close to the vehicle in case it goes boom. Ever tried reading a number plate at a safe distance? It's hard to read one at 35m+ never mind the safe distance needed to protect against IED's.

Why they fired upon the firemen is another question. The report does not say if they got out of the truck or if they pulled away.
 
#11
RFUK said:
Impossible to pass comment without knowing the situation on the ground. The yanks are pretty useless at times, but I doubt even they pulled over a firetruck and brassed up its occupants without some kind of reason.
Fair comment, but there is still a culture within US forces of an indiscriminate use of force at times, which is little questioned in the US.
 
#12
Fallujah just saw a battalion handover. One reservist unit took over from another. It may be that the new Marines were still a little green. Just a little bit.

The upside is that they recovered not one, but two fire engines that day!
 
#13
RFUK said:
Impossible to pass comment without knowing the situation on the ground. The yanks are pretty useless at times, but I doubt even they pulled over a firetruck and brassed up its occupants without some kind of reason.

Maybe they needed a couple of bullet-holed firefighters uniforms for their Regimental Museum :oops:

Doesn´t take much for a Yank to exercise his right to self-preservation.
 
#14
It is all a matter of context and circumstances. I know a Brit that fired at a fire engine.

The US AOR is (or at least was) in the main much more lethal and intense than the Brit AOR. Most of the US Troops are on their second year-long tour and will by now have served in Afghanistan as well. Most patrolling Callsigns (those that actually leave camp) will have experienced a significant contact within their first month. If they are edgy, then I can understand why.

I don't want to stiffle the debate and the fun one can have at the slightly ridiculous circumstances of finding oneself firing upon the blue-light services (I wish the Op FRESCO tw@s had a few 'warning shots') but is this thread really going to turn into another "trigger-happy-Yanks" slag-off?
 
#16
Agent_Smith said:
Why they fired upon the firemen is another question. The report does not say if they got out of the truck or if they pulled away.
Except in this bit:

A statement describing the incident said: "After receiving word that a fire truck and its crew were just hijacked, coalition forces pulled over a fire truck matching that description.

"The suspected insurgents were in fact firefighters responding to a call. The fire truck number did not match the one of the hijacked truck. All four of the firefighters that exited the vehicle died.
 
#18
My guess:

They stop fire truck. Angry Iraqi firemen, trying to get to their call dismount the truck, and advance towards the Americans, gesticulating wildly and shouting at them to get the feck out of the way, they need to get somewhere. They either don't hear, or understand the commands to stand fast. Americans shoot before they get close.

NTM
 
#19
Tanker, a most likely scenario. I would also suggest that there was specific intelligence indicating that an attack by insurgents using a fire engine was underway. In response and to preserve life, US forces mount an aggressive interdiction operation - sadly, blue watch comes hurtling towards one of the stops at high speed.........

Tragic, very tragic indeeed, but some of the posters on this thread need to get real and understand that the areas where US forces operate are NOT like Basra.

Just check US casualty figures for Sept/Oct and ask yourself, if the tables were turned, WTF would us Brits have done? sent a lad out into the road to flag it down and check ownership details?
 
#20
California_Tanker said:
My guess:

They stop fire truck. Angry Iraqi firemen, trying to get to their call dismount the truck, and advance towards the Americans, gesticulating wildly and shouting at them to get the feck out of the way, they need to get somewhere. They either don't hear, or understand the commands to stand fast. Americans shoot before they get close.

NTM
In itself an act of near madness, given the nervousness of US troops in these areas, and their policy of aggressive self-protection.

What a tragedy - and as for heart'sn'minds :cry: :cry: :cry:
 

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