On July 12, 2007, in the district of New Baghdad, at least a dozen unarmed civilians were gunned-down in the streets by a team of two US Apache Helicopters.
Two of the group were identified as Reuters journalists working as correspondents during the Iraq War – Namir Noor-Elden, a photojournalist, and his assistant and driver Saeed Chmagh. Both were Iraqi nationals.
Reuters attempted to obtain the footage in 2007 under the Freedom of Information Act but were denied. However, eventually the footage was acquired by Wikileaks in 2009 and was subsequently published on July 5, 2010 under the name Collateral Murder.
There were three strikes by the Apache team, each utilizing 30mm rounds;
The first strike was on a group of 20 individuals that included the two journalists. 7 people were killed including Noor-Eldeen, and Chmagh was left seriously injured. Importantly, permission to engage was given before any weapons were identified, directly contradicting the rules of engagement.
The second strike targeted a van that you can see being stalked by the Apache team at the start of the longer edit video. It contained the unarmed civilian Saleh Mutashar, who was taking his 6 and 9-year-old children to visit his brother before finding the injured Chmagh on the side of the road. Mutashar and Chmagh were killed and the two children were seriously injured. Before the van arrives [8:28], you hear a disturbing insight into the mind of one of the Apache team, who seems to be wishing that the seriously injured Chmagh would ‘just pick up a weapon’ so he could fire at the civilian without breaking the rules of engagement.
The third strike targeted a nearby building full of insurgents. This group began firing at the helicopters having been alerted by the first two strikes, and after the Apache team’s communications identified the building as ‘abandoned or under construction’, they were given clearance to shoot at the insurgent group.
Wikileaks Decrypted | Collateral Murder | Death of Reuters Journalists | Iraq War