Wednesday, February 22, 2006

  • EXCLUSIVE: Al Jazeera Reporters Give Bloody First Hand Account of April ’04 U.S. Siege of Fallujah

    Fallujah2-22

    In April 2004, the United States launched its first assault on Fallujah, the Sunni town west of Baghdad that had come to symbolize Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation. The offensive came a few days after four American military contractors from the private security firm Blackwater were brutally killed in the city.

    The siege was one of the bloodiest assaults of the US occupation. In two weeks that April, thirty marines were killed as local guerillas resisted U.S. attempts to capture the city. Some 600 Iraqis died and over 1,000 were wounded. While the U.S. military claimed at the time that the vast majority of those killed were members of the resistance, media reports from within Fallujah indicated a large number of civilians were among the dead.

    Al Jazeera was one of the few news outlets broadcasting from inside the besieged city, and its exclusive footage was being broadcast by every network from CNN to the BBC. Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansur and his cameraman Laith Mushtaq were inside Fallujah, reporting unembedded from the streets for the entire siege. In this Democracy Now! exclusive, they speak about their experience for the first time in an in-depth interview. [includes rush transcript]