Monday, March 07, 2005

Video: Beware of Iraqi Police with Guns

Please click title above for video of Police shooting at us

Baquba, Iraq

It will come as no surprise to readers of my posts that Iraqi police frequently shoot at us. Sometimes they fire just a bullet or two, but other times the fire is heavier.

I made the video for this post one night about a month ago while riding with Ghost Platoon. We stopped a suspicious car near an IP station, and soon came under fire. My camera turned off during the fighting, as it normally does. When I noticed it was off, I turned it back on, but some of the events in that interval were lost.

While the IPs were firing at us, they seemed to come under fire from insurgents. I had taken cover behind a Humvee wheel, so I couldn't see the insurgents attacking the police, only the police attacking us.

Clearly, there are issues to address regarding when to shoot and when to hold fire. Although they apologized later for the mistaken aim, the Iraqi Police cannot be faulted for being on edge. They seem to lose people in Baquba every week. Today, for instance, another car bomb killed four people, including a police officer. Another sixteen Iraqis were wounded. The fact that they are attacked so often is evidence that we have a mutual enemy. The seven Americans who were wounded here yesterday were probably attacked by the same insurgents.

Despite the regularity with which the IPs shoot at us, we actually get along well with them. I sometimes share meals with them. As normal, the video contains "combat language," for which I apologize in advance. But it gives a good sense of what it is like to be in the middle of firefight here in Iraq.