Michelle has the AP’s latest on Hurriya and her response, to which I have very little to add.
Except one thing. In its initial report, the AP accused the Iraqi Army unit on the scene of standing by while Shia attackers dragged six Sunnis out of a mosque, doused them with kerosene and then set them alight, killing them. The AP’s latest report on Hurriya just glides right past that serious and unsubstantiated allegation.
The AP’s original and so far unretracted report, sourced to Jamil Hussein, was a smear of the Iraqi Army. According to the US military’s official report, the responding Iraqi unit, the 1/1/6 of the IA, called the local fire station to put out the fire at one of the mosques and attempted to capture the attackers. The unit, which included an Iraqi general, remained on the scene until the situation had calmed. That’s what they’re supposed to do.
The AP and Jamil Hussein smeared them by accusing them of standing by doing nothing while the attackers murdered six Sunnis with kerosene fire. Kerosene doesn’t burn quickly–it has a high flash point and burns slowly. The murders would have taken a few minutes, long enough for any IA unit on the scene to put out the fire and capture the militia fighters who started it.
But of course, none of that actually happened according to the military’s official incident report. And there’s no evidence beyond the word of Jamil Hussein that it did happen. It’s hard enough to stand up the Iraqi Army when it’s in the middle of a war inside its own country. Media smears when they do the job our troops are training them to do don’t help at all.
Isn’t it time to just retract your original report, AP?