A U.S. helicopter srike north of Baghdad resulted in the death of several children when airmen were supposedly targeting al-Qaida forces. Associated Press TV news footae shod the bodies of three children n blod-drenched clothes, along with the bodies of five men,at the hospital in Beiji where the dead were taken. Beiji police Colonel Mudhher al-Qaisi said the children and eight civilian farmers were killed, the farmers were fleeing from an area where US forces were engaged in fighting. He said the helicopter became suspicious of the men and opened fire.
The American forces fired at the vehicle because it displayed what someone said was “hostile intent.” No explanation was offered by the military why the vehicle aroused suspicion or what exactly was the “hostile intent” of the car. Spokesman Colonel Jerry O’Hara said, the United States “sincerely regrets when any innocent civilians are injured, resulting from terrorists locating themselves in and around them. We take every precaution to protect innocent civilians and engae only hostile threats.”
There is no question that terrorist groups use civilians, but that does not mean every time an American unit kills civilians it was due to them being among terrorists. In any war, mistakes are made. The American armed forces, when guilty of mistakes, should acknowledge them and stop trying to explain away the error by claiming it was the fault of terrorists.