Iraqi Witness Exposes Reasons For US Targeting Village Wedding
Jun 04, 2004
Translated And/Or Compiled By Muhammad Abu Nasr, The Free Arab Voice
The background to American bombing raid on a village wedding party on May 18 that killed the bridegroom along with over 40 other villagers has remained largely a mystery in the international media. After the bomb raid, which the Pentagon claimed was an attempted assault on Resistance fighters in the area of al-Qa'im on the Syrian border, the AP broadcast video of the wedding contradicted the official US storey.
Now an Iraqi resident of the area has come forward with information, published by Quds Press and carried on Mafkarat al-Islam's website, indicating that the real reason for the US attack had been to strike at a village and its elders who were involved not in fighting the occupation, but in helping US troops escape from military service in Iraq.
"The American occupation forces knew full well that we were having a wedding party. They intentionally bombed the wedding because the guests included several tribal chiefs and prominent persons from the western part of Iraq. The occupation forces hated the people of this region because they have been helping occupation soldiers to escape from Iraq," said the uncle of the martyred bridegroom, a local Iraqi resident who gave his name as Abu 'Azzam.
"The village of Makr adh-Dhib," Abu 'Azzam explained, "is between ar-Rabtah and al-Qa'im, and is 125km from Husaybah on the Iraqi Syrian border. The people who live in the village are of the al-Bu Fahd tribes, a part of the large Arab Dulaym tribal federation in Iraq. They have played a big role in providing the Resistance with supplies, equipment, weapons, everything."
The American forces came to the village lots of times," Abu 'Azzam said, "searching for weapons and Arab Resistance fighters. But they never found anything. But the thing that caused matters to come to a head was that we in Makr adh-Dhib were carrying out organized operations to smuggle American soldiers who wanted to flee the hell in Iraq out of the country. We were able to smuggle large numbers of those soldiers through our 'windows', windows that only a small number of people in the village know about. We would smuggle them for a price, that could go as high as $10,000 in some cases, plus the equipment that the soldier carried," Abu 'Azzam explained.
Abu 'Azzam told QudsPress, "we were able to smuggle a number of US Army officers who were fleeing from Iraq out of the country. The last operation we carried out was just a few days before the Americans bombed the wedding. In that operation we smuggled 13 American soldiers out of Iraq. But apparently the American forces got wind of what we were doing. They encircled the village and took people in for questioning. It was then that we came to understand that they meant to do us harm, because they were very angry."
"After that smuggling operation and the interrogations, we realized that they were planning something against us. We became wary and started to make preparations to confront them. But we didn't know that they would respond in such a cowardly way," Abu 'Azzam explained.
"It was on the night of the wedding of my nephew Muhammad Rakad al-Fahdawi, and after the invited guests had come - people of the village and the surrounding area including tribal shaykhs and prominent personalities. During the afternoon the bride was brought from ar-Ramadi and it was after that that the American forces showed up with their Jeeps and tanks and helicopters and closed off the area. They pounded the wedding with 10 rockets of various types and also fired automatic weapons," Abu 'Azzam recounted.
The AP video, released days after the US attack, showed the wedding in progress before the US attack on May 18 that left more than 40 Iraqi wedding guests dead.