A US F-16 warplane yesterday bombed a Kurdish convoy traveling with US special forces in Northern Iraq, killing at least 18 people.
The bomb fell only meters from where the BBC world affairs editor John Simpson was standing. He said it was a “scene from hell.” Bodies burned around him; pieces of bodies were strewn around; vehicles were on fire. The BBC’s translator, Kamran Abdurazaq Mohammed, was killed, and the BBC’s driver lost a leg.
Witness said at least five of the vehicles in the convoy had blaze-orange markings on their roofs meant to warn US pilots, according to the New York Times. The three white BBC vehicles had the letters “TV” spelled out on their hoods.
The commander of the special forces of the peshmerga Kurdish fighters, Wajih Barzani, was critically injured. He is the brother of Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic party.
Reporting nearby was Patrick Cockburn, reporter of the Independent of London and brother of _Counterpunch_’s Alexander Cockburn, one of our guests today on a roundtable of magazine editors. We are also joined by Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation and Michael Albert of Z Magazine.