July 19, 2004 – American pilots bombed another home in Fallujah Sunday, killing at least fourteen people and injuring about 40, in the sixth US strike against the city in a month. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, newly-appointed by US authorities, authorized the attack, which came at 2 a.m. local time, the Associated Press reports. Beyond the basic details, though, much of the accounting of what happened was in dispute, as has been the case in previous attacks by US forces against Fallujah.
The US military said that some 25 foreign resistance fighters, loyal to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant purportedly leading part of the insurgency in Iraq, were reportedly present at the target moments before the attack.
However, Lieutenant Saad Khalaf of the Fallujah Brigade, the local paramilitary unit armed and deputized by US forces, told the AP the target that was bombed was clearly a civilian one. Heath care providers also said unarmed civilians were among the dead and wounded.
The US military has yet to produce proof that foreign fighters were killed in any of the past monthâ€™s attacks, fueling continued suspicion among Iraqis that the actual motive for the attacks is collective punishment of Fallujans for forcing Marines to retreat from the city in April.