on Marines Near Mosque
Iraq (CENTCOM) — U.S. Marines observed anti-Coalition Forces
today firing from the Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque
complex in Fallujah. In order to gain access to the compound housing
the mosque, Marines used air support to breach a wall located
several hundred yards away from the actual mosque structure. One
anti-Coalition force member was killed in the attack. There is
no report of civilian casualties.
the ground observed no damage to the mosque. The anti-coalition
forces firing from the mosque wrongfully violated the law of war
by conducting offensive military operations from a protected structure.
As a result, the mosque lost its protected status and therefore
became a lawful military target. Nevertheless, the Marines only
targeted the wall surrounding the compound in order to prevent
damage to the mosque.
indicate a platoon-size force was firing RPGs and small arms from
fortified battle positions inside of and on top of the mosque.
Following the strike, Marines also recovered a fully functional
mortar from inside the compound.
was repeatedly used as a base to target Iraqi and Coalition forces
throughout the day. The breach of the wall was a graduated response
to the threat.
I Marine Expeditionary
Force will continue to employ precision weaponry in order to protect
lives of non-combatants, private property, medical facilities,
and religious structures in accordance with the law of war.