Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre

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The Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre[1][2] (Arabic: مجزرة حفلة عرس مقر الديب ) refers to the U.S. shooting and bombing of a wedding party in Mukaradeeb (means the wolves' den), a small village in Iraq near the border with Syria, on 19 May 2004. 42 civilians were killed.

Incident[edit]

U.S. officials stated that the location was a "suspected foreign fighter safe house."[1]

The wedding united members of the Rakat and Sabah families: Ashad Rakat was the groom and Rutba, his bride. Witnesses report that the American bombing started at 3 am. Local accounts state that 42 people, including 11 women and 14 children,[1] were killed during the incident. Among the known dead were Iraqi musicians Hussein al-Ali and his brother Mohaned al-Ali. Iraqi officials report 13 children were among the dead. 27 members of the extended Rakat family were killed.[3]

Reaction[edit]

The U.S. military took the stance that the location was a legitimate target. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the coalition deputy chief of staff for U.S. operations in Iraq: "We took ground fire and we returned fire. We estimate that around 40 were killed. But we operated within our rules of engagement."[1] U.S. fire included both bullets and bombs, leaving behind craters.[3]

USMC Major General James Mattis even said the idea of a wedding was implausible, "How many people go to the middle of the desert ... to hold a wedding 80 miles (130km) from the nearest civilization? These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive." The Rakats and the Sabahs were residents of Mukaradeeb.[1] He later added that it had taken him 30 seconds to deliberate on bombing the location.[4]

In the aftermath, Kimmitt said, "There was no evidence of a wedding: no decorations, no musical instruments found, no large quantities of food or leftover servings one would expect from a wedding celebration. There may have been some kind of celebration. Bad people have celebrations, too." Video footage obtained by the Associated Press seems to contradict this view. The video shows a series of scenes of a wedding celebration, and footage from the following day showing fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around a destroyed tent.[3][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e McCarthy, Rory (20 May 2004). "Wedding party massacre". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Cavarero, Adriana (2 January 2011). Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence. Columbia University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-0-231-14457-5. 
  3. ^ a b c AP, Iraq Wedding-Party Video Backs Survivors' Claims," 24 May 2004
  4. ^ Bing, West (2008). The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6701-5. , p. 245
  5. ^ McCartyh, Rory (2004-05-25). "Wedding party video casts doubt on American version of attack that killed 42". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°00′28″N 40°12′08″E / 34.00778°N 40.20222°E / 34.00778; 40.20222