The March 26 incident may very well have been staged by Moqtada al—Sadr's Mehdi army. The lies were then delivered: US forces entered a mosque and innocent Iraqis were killed. Those lies were then broadcast worldwide as Iraqis protested in the streets.
The US command in Baghdad issued corrections that were basically drowned out by the growing uproar. As Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has stated on more than one occasion, the terrorists have a well—oiled propaganda machine. As has been the case before in these instances, the truth and the facts play catch—up.
Multi—National Force—Iraq (MNF—I) commander, Gen. Chiarelli and Multi—National Division—Baghdad commander, MG. Thurman held a press conference yesterday. Here is some of what they said:
No Mosque entered, damaged in Iraqi Special Forces raid
BAGHDAD, Iraq — As reports from media continued to focus on an Iraqi Special Operations raid in Adhamiyah, Coalition Forces emphasized that no forces entered or damaged any mosque in the Sunday actions.
Soldiers from the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 1st Iraqi Special Operations Forces Brigade, conducted a coordinated operation in northeast Baghdad Sunday to capture and detain insurgents responsible for kidnapping and execution activities.
'The building complex that was attacked was blocks away from the Mustafa Mosque,' said Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, commanding general, Multi—National Corps — Iraq . 'This operation was led by Iraqis who confirmed that this was not a mosque, and at no time did they enter any mosque or damage a mosque in any way.'
Iraqi Commandos and Soldiers from the Iraqi Counterterrorism Force killed 16 insurgents and wounded three others during a house—to—house search on an objective with multiple structures. They also detained 18 other individuals, discovered a significant weapons cache and secured the release of an Iraqi being held hostage.
'The Iraqi Special Operations Forces came under intense fire from several buildings in the compound before they even left their vehicles,' said Maj. Gen. J.D. Thurman, commanding general, Multi—National Division — Baghdad. 'There was a great deal of intelligence gathered on this cell. We knew there was a kidnapping ring operating from the complex. This was a well planned and well executed operation,' said Thurman.
To read the rest, go here.
John B. Dwyer 3 28 06