The part of this story that is so tragic is that Iraqi War veterans will tell you, this doesn't come close to describe how bad or chaotic it is on
November 26, 2006

The part of this story that is so tragic is that Iraqi War veterans will tell you, this doesn't come close to describe how bad or chaotic it is on the ground. (h/t Gregory)

A mortar attack ignited a huge fire Monday night at an oil facility in northern Iraq, shutting the flow of crude oil to a major refinery, and a U.S. Air Force jet with one pilot aboard crashed in Anbar province, a hotbed of the Sunni-Arab insurgency, officials said. Al-Jazeera reported that the pilot was killed.
[..]Two mortar rounds hit the pipeline filtering facility 15 miles northwest of Kirkuk, according to an official at the North Oil Co., speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
The fire was burning out of control and could take hours or longer to extinguish, and the flow of oil from all of Kirkuk's rich fields has been shut down to the massive Beiji refinery to the southwest, the official said.

After the F-16CG jet went down, a witness said other U.S. warplanes rushed to the crash site about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad and circled above it. The U.S. military, which released a statement on the crash, did not have any information on the suspected cause or the fate of the pilot.

But Al-Jazeera television showed videotape of the wreckage in a field and what appeared to be portions of a tangled parachute nearby, and the broadcaster said the video included scenes of the dead pilot but that they were too graphic to air.

One shot showed an Air Force seal that said Air Combat Command.

Mohammed Al-Obeidi, who lives in the nearby town of Karmah, said by telephone that he saw the jet flying erratically before it nose-dived and exploded in a field.

Separately, police and witnesses said U.S. soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and wounded five on Sunday night in the Baghdad suburb of Husseiniya. The U.S. military said it had no record of any American military operation in the area.

"We were sitting inside our house when the Americans showed up and started firing at homes. They killed many people and burned some houses," said one of the witnesses, a man with bandages on his head who was being treated at Imam Ali Hospital in the Shiite slum of Sadr City. The police and witnesses spoke with Associated Press Television News on condition of anonymity to protect their own security.

On Monday, about 250 people attended a memorial service outside the hospital's morgue for the 11 victims, saying it was being conducted in the slum because the dead had been followers of the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The cleric and his Madhi Army militia are both based in Sadr City.

The U.S. command also said three of its soldiers were killed and two wounded in Baghdad on Sunday, the day that Iraq's government began to lift the curfew by allowing Iraqis to leave their homes on foot to shop at their local fruit and vegetable markets. The curfew was imposed Thursday after suspected Sunni-Arab insurgents used bombs and mortars to kill more than 200 people in Sadr City in the worst attack by militants in the war.

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