|現在地 HOME > 掲示板 > 戦争３５ > 731.html ★阿修羅♪||
夜明けの大虐殺 訓練キャンプならぬ民間人の住宅をタンクと攻撃ヘリで銃撃、死者100名以上 【イスラム・オンライン】
投稿者 ドメル将軍 日時 2003 年 6 月 14 日 21:48:28:cje0BUN7ztE2U
Fighters' Camp Hit By Major U.S. Strike/Operation Is Deadliest Since War's End/ burned and bloodied mattresses showed how it started/washingtonpost/June 13
Fighters' Camp Hit By Major U.S. Strike
Operation Is Deadliest Since War's End
RAWAH, Iraq, June 13 -- The scorched cliff side, the charred bulrushes and the burned and bloodied mattresses showed how it started. Here in the desert, 200 miles northwest of Baghdad and 30 miles east of the Syrian border, dozens of anti-American guerrillas were killed when U.S. helicopters swooped in and rocketed the two large tents where they slept.
The attack in the early morning hours Thursday was the most devastating since the war in Iraq officially ended more than a month ago, killing at least 68 fighters. For a day, this bleak landscape was the center of a new, vicious phase of combat between U.S. troops and underground groups and individuals bent on disrupting the U.S. and allied occupation.
Officials in Washington said the site was a "terrorist training camp." However, there were no signs of firing ranges or other facilities that suggested military training. Residents of Rawah, three miles south of the camp, said the fighters had pitched their tents just three days before and were on the run from Samarra, a city about 100 miles to the southeast.
Nonetheless, the presence of such a large force underscores the breadth of anti-American armed opposition in central Iraq. Rawah residents said that the dead were mostly foreigners from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan. They were apparently supporting a wide range of Iraqi fighters who are harassing U.S. troops throughout the central region, from Baghdad north to Baqubah and Tikrit and west through Fallujah and Ramadi.
U.S. soldiers in the area describe almost daily assaults, especially at night. The hostilities are largely limited to the Sunni Muslim belt of central Iraq, a zone where deposed president Saddam Hussein enjoyed wide support. The heavily populated Shiite Muslim south, by contrast, has been relatively peaceful. While Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, commander of the occupation forces, has declared the south "stable and secure," other U.S. officials warn of "political and paramilitary meddling" by Shiite groups sponsored by Iran.
The Rawah operation was carried out by the 101st Airborne Division and units of the 4th Infantry Division now headquartered in Tikrit. One U.S. soldier was wounded in the attack, and an AH-64 Apache helicopter was shot down, U.S. officials said.
The main target of the assault was an encampment stretching about 75 yards along a pond. The group of fighters had apparently chosen the spot because it is near a freshwater spring. The tents were torn and burned. Five propane gas canisters bore large shrapnel scars. Sacks of grain had burst open. A large flatbed truck was twisted; its tires melted.
Many of the fighters died on their mattresses, said Abdullah Aziz Gharbi, the preacher at the mosque in Rawah. Some died among the reeds. Gharbi and dozens of townsfolk buried the dead in trenches beneath rough-hewn tombstones at the mosque's cemetery. Dozens of shoes, mostly athletic wear, lay off to the side. "I think many of them didn't know what was happening," Gharbi said. "Many of them were blackened like charcoal."
Gharbi said the attack began at about 2 a.m. He heard explosions and could see flashes over the low hills leading to the spring. Humvees and heavy armored vehicles also poured through the town, which lies on cliffs at a picturesque bend of the Euphrates River. Sporadic shooting continued until dawn, and some witnesses estimated that as many as 20 Apache attack helicopters were involved.
Some of the rebels had apparently tried to flee through a gulch into the desert and were pursued by U.S. troops, who left piles of heavy-caliber shells on several hilltops near a ravine where some fighters were apparently holed up. Helicopters rocketed a cave where three had taken refuge, according to residents who pulled out two of the bodies.
At one point, an Apache helicopter was shot down, apparently by enemy fire. All that was left at the crash site today were two pods containing a cluster of cylinders that held dozens of rockets. Bullets pockmarked the sides of one of the pods; the other had exploded. Witnesses said that Thursday morning, soldiers brought a bulldozer and cranes to lift the helicopter's fuselage onto a truck that hauled it away. U.S. officials said both Apache crew members were rescued unhurt. It was the first helicopter downing since Baghdad fell on April 9.
Pentagon officials depicted a more two-sided battle than did residents. "It was a tough fight," Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a Pentagon briefing Thursday. "They were well-trained and well-equipped and clearly well-prepared for this, for the fight they had." U.S. officials said that soldiers recovered 70 to 80 SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles at the encampment, along with about 20 AK-47 assault rifles.
The only apparent guerrilla weapon left at the scene today was an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade.
U.S. officials said they were unsure about the identity of the fighters. McKiernan, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on a videophone from Baghdad, said, "I will just simply tell you that it was a camp area that was confirmed with bad guys, and specifically who the bad guys are will be determined as we exploit the site. We struck it very lethally, and we're exploiting whatever intelligence value we can get from that site for future operations."
The battle created worry among Rawah's residents. Some insisted they did not know the Arab fighters had taken up residence near their town. Others said they knew the men were there but were afraid to ask about their purpose. Still others claimed to know that the group had fled Samarra because Americans had discovered their presence and that a local guide had led them to the spring.
"Our philosophy is to get along with everybody and hope that everybody lets us alone," said Ahmed, who identified himself as the mukhtar, or town elder.
Word of the fighting had spread all along the highway from Baghdad to Rawah. Several truck and bus drivers who traverse the route daily hailed the dead as heroes and martyrs. "The Americans are cowards. They shot them in their beds. They should at least fight man to man," said Mohammed Jassem, a gas station attendant at the nearby town of Anah. Ali Dulaimi, a bus driver in the city of Ramadi, 55 miles from Baghdad, cursed and said, "God take revenge on the spy who informed for the Americans."
2003 The Washington Post Company