A new footage of a classified US military video showing the killing of a dozen civilians in Baghdad in 2007 by helicopter gunships has been released.
The secret video, released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, shows US air crew hunting civilians in the streets of the Iraqi capital purportedly mistaking them for ‘insurgents.’
US military service members laughed and cursed at their victims that included Reuters photojournalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, who appear unarmed.
The footage shows US forces repeatedly firing on a group of civilians and then on a van that stopped to rescue one of the wounded.
The US military says the killings were in line with the law of armed conflict and its own ‘rules of engagement.’
The video, shot from one of the two striking Apache helicopters, was obtained by Wikileaks despite the US Defense Department’s blocking of an earlier attempt by Reuters to get hold of the footage via the Freedom of Information Act.
Director of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, said his institution decrypted the video for the material to become viewable.
The revelation on US military’s indiscriminate killing of people in Iraq has become the latest embarrassment for the Pentagon.
It also comes after the US armed forces admitted that its special forces attempted to cover up the killing of three Afghan women, in a raid in February, by removing the bullets out of their bodies.