The Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre
refers to the American shooting and bombing of a wedding party in Mukaradeeb
, a small village in Iraq
near the border with Syria
, on May 19, 2004. 42 civilians were killed.
American officials stated that the location was a "suspected foreign fighter safe house."
The wedding united members of the already related Rakat and Sabah families: Ashad Rakat was the groom and Rutba, his bride. Witnesses report that the American bombing started at 3am. Local accounts state that 42 men, women and children were killed during the incident. Among the known dead were Iraqi musicians Hussein al-Ali
and his brother Mohaned al-Ali
. Iraqi officials report 13 children were among the dead. 27 members of the extended Rakat family were killed.
The U.S. military took the stance that the location was a legitimate target. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt
, the coalition deputy chief of staff for U.S. operations in Iraq: "We took ground fire and we returned fire. We estimate that around 40 were killed. But we operated within our rules of engagement."USMC Major General James Mattis
said the idea of a wedding was implausible, "How many people go to the middle of the desert ... to hold... Read More