Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rogue US troops attack British Convoy

A group of British soldiers yesterday described their frantic attempts to stop an attack on their convoy by "rogue" US warplanes that left one dead and four injured.

Oxfordshire coroner's court heard that two US A10 planes opened fire on a patrol in southern Iraq in March 2003, killing Lance Corporal of Horse Mattie Hull three days before his 26th birthday.

Yesterday his colleagues told the court that the "friendly fire" incident had happened on a clear day as they patrolled an area about 30 miles north-west of Basra.

Staff Corporal Ashley Bell said there had been a flash as the first attack started. He had immediately radioed forward air control with the "Stop, stop, stop" instruction but had been told the planes were being flown by "rogue US pilots".

"[The controller] could not contact the US pilots because they had switched frequencies and were talking to each other."

Soldiers in the five-vehicle convoy released smoke canisters to identify them to friendly pilots. The smoke was visible as one of the planes returned at low level and attacked a second time.

Great… We are now being attacked by our allies. If I didn’t think it was time to get out of Iraq before this I would now. If we can’t trust our allies who can we trust?


alanorei said...

They did this during the 1st Gulf War as well. There was a similar incident where 6 British soldiers were killed.

It was a standing piece of 'black' humour in Normandy in 1944, on both sides that "When the RAF comes over, the Germans take cover, when the Luftwaffe comes over, the Allies take cover, when the US Air Force comes over, EVERYBODY takes cover!"

But what do they mean by "rogue pilots"? Were these fliers just out on a shooting spree without definite orders?

I note that our cousins are desperate to try and cover it up, so much so that the coroner uncharacteristically for someone in his office, got really irate.

Good for him.

youdontknowme said...

I think they were out on a shooting spree.

james higham said...

Sadly, thee's nothing new in this. Two years ago, British vehicles were carrying union flags on the top so that the Americans would not blindly shoot at them.