VARIOUS: Shocking moments US pilots realise they've targetted British troops in Iraq leaked in the UK
- Title: VARIOUS: Shocking moments US pilots realise they've targetted British troops in Iraq leaked in the UK
- Date: 6th February 2007
- Summary: (W3) TIKRIT, IRAQ (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF A-10 TANKBUSTER PLANE (LIKE THE TYPE FLOWN BY US PILOTS IN FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT), FLYING IN SKY
- Reuters ID: LVA33WVC84QJDE2F3QF2B294QLC7
- Duration: 00:00:16
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: War / Fighting,International Relations
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: A British newspaper on Tuesday (February 6) released a tape of a cockpit video recording from a U.S. jet at the centre of an inquest into "friendly fire" in Iraq in which a British soldier was killed.
The video tape revealed the pilots, realising they had hit a convoy of British armoured vehicles, saying "God dammit" and "We're in jail, dude".
Lance Corporal Matty Hull was killed near the southern Iraqi city of Basra in March 2003 when two U.S. A-10 tankbusters twice fired on the British convoy.
The recording showed how before firing the pilots discuss whether they can see orange panels -- designed to show allied planes a convoy is friendly -- on top of the armoured vehicles. They conclude the orange objects must be rocket launchers and attack the convoy.
Former UK army commander, Bob Stewart said in the fog of war mistakes are easy to make.
"Something's gone wrong in identifying the target," Stewart said, adding, "Their controller might well be talking about a different area to the one that the pilots are looking at, and that is a crucial mistake and that crucial mistake probably resulted in the end in the death of Matty Hull."
An inquest into Hull's death was adjourned last week after the coroner said he had no choice but to delay his verdict until the recording of the incident was produced by Britain's Ministry of Defence. The MoD said it did not have the right to release the video without the permission of the U.S. government.
In London, America's ambassador, Robert Tuttle, refused to answer journalists' questions about why the Pentagon had not yet handed over the tape.
Speaking during a trip to Jerusalem, Britain's Foreign Secretary said London was working with the United States to get as much information on the friendly fire incident.
Margaret Beckett added: "I do not think that there is a military or a government in the world that is not aware of such events and doesn't deeply regret them but does not also feel a responsibility both to the proceedings of justice and also to their own armed forces."
Beckett later told reporters that London is working closely with Washington to ensure the inquest can be completed and a verdict can finally be reached.
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- Embargoed:21st February 2007 12:00