US soldiers use AK 47 cannons

Video evidence: US soldiers kill Reuters journalists in Iraq

Namir Noor Eldeen, a 22-year-old photographer for the Reuters news agency, and his 40-year-old driver and assistant Said Chmagh were out on July 12, 2007 in the Baghdad district of “New Baghdad”. They wanted to photograph the neighborhood. But they didn't get to that anymore. For years it was unclear why they died that day.

The US military had claimed that Eldeen and Chmagh got caught between the lines and were killed in a skirmish between insurgents and US soldiers. Her death was counted as collateral damage.

A video now published by the Wikileaks website (here) refutes this representation. The film was recorded by the camera of a US "Apache" helicopter. The video shows what actually happened on that July 12th, 2007. It also documents the radio communication between the pilot and the shooter in this helicopter. Images and radio communications show how Iraqi civilians were shot from the helicopter for no reason.

The film shows a group of Iraqi men casually strolling down a street, apparently unarmed. Among them are Reuters photographer Eldeen and his driver Chmagh. The Apache helicopter targets the group. Namir Noor Eldeen can be recognized with a camera in hand and Said Chmagh, who is obviously on the phone on the phone.

An American from the helicopter, code-named "Crazyhorse" on the radio, said over the radio that he saw six people armed with AK-47 assault rifles and a bazooka.

Then the man claims that one of the group on the ground was shooting at the helicopter. However, the video clearly shows that the Iraqis are neither armed nor open fire.

When the men stand tightly together on the ground, the gunner of the Apache helicopter reports to the pilot: "They are all lined up." The order comes promptly: "Come on, finally shoot!"

The gunner in the attack helicopter opens fire. “Hahaha, I met her,” he says happily. The following sentence is rarely heard: "Oh yes, look at all the dead bastards."

One of the men on the ground appears to have survived the attack with the Apache's 30-millimeter on-board cannon. It is said to be the Reuters assistant and father of four Said Chmagh. Badly injured, he crawls across the floor and drags himself against the wall of a house. The helicopter crew discussed over the radio whether they should shoot the man.

"All you have to do is grab a gun," joked one of the Americans about the injured Iraqi.

A short time later, a dark minivan arrives at the scene. A man gets out. He is dressed like a medic. Another man follows him. Presumably they want to help the injured Chmagh. In any case, no weapons can be seen in them.

Nevertheless, the helicopter gunner takes aim at the vehicle and shoots armor-piercing ammunition at it. "Take a look at that," says one of the soldiers happily, "straight through the windshield!"

A little later it becomes clear that two little girls were sitting in the front seats of the minivan. They are discovered by advancing US ground forces and taken to an Iraqi hospital for medical treatment. This is also filmed by the camera from the US helicopter, which is still circling over the city district.

The helicopter crew seems to have no doubt who is to blame for the fate of the two girls. On the radio it says: “Well, it's their fault if you bring children into battle,” says one. “That's right,” replies another.

The Reuters news agency had tried in vain to get the surveillance video from the US helicopter after the death of its two employees. Referring to the Freedom of Information Act, Reuters urged the Pentagon to release the recordings. Vain.

The Internet portal Wikileaks said in Washington that the recording was leaked to them some time ago and that the radio traffic that could be heard on it first had to be decrypted. “The behavior of the pilots,” says Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, “is like a computer game. If Said crawls on the floor, obviously unable to do anything, then her reaction is: Come on my friend, we want to kill you, just take a gun. "

The video withheld by the US military must be seen as a cover-up attempt by the Pentagon. The murder of the Reuters journalist is a war crime.

In the past, the Pentagon tried in vain to prevent the work of Wikileaks, a donated website. Wikileaks, it became clear in a Pentagon report from 2008, is classified by the US government as a "threat to national security". Since then, the Ministry of Defense has been feverishly looking for possible sources within its own ranks that could have leaked material to Wikileaks.

But not only secret US material has found its way to Wikileaks. A secret German report on the air attack in Kunduz from September 2009 is also available there.

Wikileaks plans to present another video shortly. The Internet portal has announced that it will document the killing of Afghan civilians by the US military. Incidentally, 139 journalists have been killed in Iraq since 2003, 117 of them Iraqis.