- The background to American bombing raid on a village
wedding party on May 18 that killed the bridegroom along with over 40 other
villagers has remained largely a mystery in the international media. After
the bomb raid, which the Pentagon claimed was an attempted assault on Resistance
fighters in the area of al-Qa'im on the Syrian border, the AP broadcast
video of the wedding contradicted the official US storey.
- Now an Iraqi resident of the area has come forward with
information, published by Quds Press and carried on Mafkarat al-Islam's
website, indicating that the real reason for the US attack had been to
strike at a village and its elders who were involved not in fighting the
occupation, but in helping US troops escape from military service in Iraq.
- "The American occupation forces knew full well that
we were having a wedding party. They intentionally bombed the wedding because
the guests included several tribal chiefs and prominent persons from the
western part of Iraq. The occupation forces hated the people of this region
because they have been helping occupation soldiers to escape from Iraq,"
said the uncle of the martyred bridegroom, a local Iraqi resident who gave
his name as Abu 'Azzam.
- "The village of Makr adh-Dhib," Abu 'Azzam
explained, "is between ar-Rabtah and al-Qa'im, and is 125km from Husaybah
on the Iraqi Syrian border. The people who live in the village are of the
al-Bu Fahd tribes, a part of the large Arab Dulaym tribal federation in
Iraq. They have played a big role in providing the Resistance with supplies,
equipment, weapons, everything."
- The American forces came to the village lots of times,"
Abu 'Azzam said, "searching for weapons and Arab Resistance fighters.
But they never found anything. But the thing that caused matters to come
to a head was that we in Makr adh-Dhib were carrying out organized operations
to smuggle American soldiers who wanted to flee the hell in Iraq out of
the country. We were able to smuggle large numbers of those soldiers through
our 'windows', windows that only a small number of people in the village
know about. We would smuggle them for a price, that could go as high as
$10,000 in some cases, plus the equipment that the soldier carried,"
Abu 'Azzam explained.
- Abu 'Azzam told QudsPress, "we were able to smuggle
a number of US Army officers who were fleeing from Iraq out of the country.
The last operation we carried out was just a few days before the Americans
bombed the wedding. In that operation we smuggled 13 American soldiers
out of Iraq. But apparently the American forces got wind of what we were
doing. They encircled the village and took people in for questioning. It
was then that we came to understand that they meant to do us harm, because
they were very angry."
- "After that smuggling operation and the interrogations,
we realized that they were planning something against us. We became wary
and started to make preparations to confront them. But we didn't know that
they would respond in such a cowardly way," Abu 'Azzam explained.
- "It was on the night of the wedding of my nephew
Muhammad Rakad al-Fahdawi, and after the invited guests had come - people
of the village and the surrounding area including tribal shaykhs and prominent
personalities. During the afternoon the bride was brought from ar-Ramadi
and it was after that that the American forces showed up with their Jeeps
and tanks and helicopters and closed off the area. They pounded the wedding
with 10 rockets of various types and also fired automatic weapons,"
Abu 'Azzam recounted.
- The AP video, released days after the US attack, showed
the wedding in progress before the US attack on May 18 that left more than
40 Iraqi wedding guests dead.