Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi TV Hit By U.S. Forces in Baghdad
Printed on Tuesday, April 08, 2003 @ 11:02:29 CST ( )
Report by YellowTimes.org
Update (3:40 PM EST): It has been confirmed that U.S. forces destroyed the Al Jazeera building and also fired at the Palestine Hotel, killing and injuring reporters. The U.S. denies that these attacks were intentional. They claim that the Al Jazeera bombing was a mistake, and that they were under attack from Iraqis in the Palestine Hotel. All reporters interviewed from the Palestine Hotel have stated that no Iraqi fire came from the hotel and that it looked to be a deliberate attack by U.S. forces on the journalists in the hotel.
(YellowTimes.org) -- Tariq Ayoub, an Al Jazeera reporter, was killed early Tuesday after a U.S. missile struck the Al Jazeera TV building near the Kharkh district of Baghdad. An Al Jazeera camera-man received moderate wounds.
Carl Rochelle told MSNBC viewers that U.S. forces would not purposefully target Al Jazeera reporters "even though they have been a thorn in our side."
MSNBC reported that the killing of an Al Jazeera reporter and the partial destruction of the Al Jazeera building may have been as a result of Iraqi fire.
However, incidents that occurred over the course of the next hour may indicate otherwise.
At 1:02 am EST, Abu Dhabi TV broadcasts footage of two M1A1 Abrams tanks making their way one-third of the distance across a bridge in Kharkh district, only to retreat several yards.
At 1:03 am, Abu Dhabi TV broadcasts footage of a gunner atop one of the tanks manning his gun.
At 1:04 am, the Abu Dhabi camera filming two U.S. tanks at the entrance of a bridge in Kharkh district managed to capture shrapnel ricocheting from heavy machine gunfire targeted at it. The camera veers away from the tanks it was filming as the camera-man apparently ducks for cover.
A few minutes later, an Abu Dhabi anchor, monitored by an MSNBC translator, inquires as to the safety of the camera-man.
At 1:09 am, the Abu Dhabi camera returns to filming the U.S. tanks at the entrance of the bridge.
At 1:21 am, one of the turrets of the M1A1 tanks begins to turn. It is unclear whether it was turning towards the camera.
Within seconds, a plume of smoke and fire from a shell exploding in the same building atop which the camera is mounted covers the view of the camera and the screen goes black as it is taken off the air.
At 1:31 am, Abu Dhabi broadcasts taped footage of the smoke clearing and the turret returning its aim to the other side of the bridge.
At 1:57 am, CNN news anchor Aaron Brown reports "there was gunfire at the balcony where that Abu Dhabi TV camera was perched. The camera has been off the air."
At 2:41 am, CNN news anchor Michael Holmes reporting from Kuwait says "it [gunfire] certainly appeared to me to come from one of the tanks."
At 3:00 am, Al Jazeera reporter Tariq Aouni refutes MSNBC claims that it was Iraqi fire that hit the Al Jazeera building, but rather fire from a U.S A10 war plane that he had seen overhead. Al Jazeera broadcasts to its viewers that it is highly unlikely that both Abu Dhabi and Al Jazeera news networks were hit within the same hour by "accidental fire."
At 3:14 am, Jonathan Alter, Special NBC Correspondent appearing on MSNBC, reminded viewers that this would not be taken well in the Arab world and would undeniably be seen as a way of silencing Arab media because Al Jazeera offices were targeted during the Afghanistan campaigns also.
YellowTimes.org correspondent Firas Al-Atraqchi drafted this report.