On the ground in Fallujah


Geraldine Sealey
April 7, 2004 8:45PM (UTC)

The Washington Post has a reporter on the ground in Fallujah, and gives this description of what happened today at the mosque based in part on listening in to radio communications of U.S. forces.

"U.S. forces fired missiles at a mosque in this flashpoint city Wednesday after taking several hours of fire from insurgents who were using it as cover to attack Marines advancing through the city. Five Marines had been shot from the mosque before commanders authorized the use of air power and laser-guided missiles against it, Marines said at the scene. They had rejected the air attack several times, according to Marine officers and radio communications monitored from a command post by a Washington Post reporter."

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"'We've got to be careful,' said one officer receiving a request for air support from the Marines around the mosque. 'We have some bad folks dug in,' came the response. 'They're creating a problem for us. What should we do? We need backup.'"

"'We need regimental approval,' came the reply. Not long afterwards, a spokesman at the command post said the air support was authorized. A spokesman said the missiles were fired from a helicopter and a jet. Neither the number of people inside at the time nor the number injured in the air strike could be determined. Reports from news agencies that at least two dozen people had been killed could not be immediately confirmed."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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