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Fallujah, Iraq

Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque complex

On April 7, 2004, during a period of ongoing military activities in Fallujah and other places throughout Iraq, US Marines in the city observed shots being fired from the Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque complex. US Marines then proceeded to breach the mosque compound's wall. The wall, being located several hundred yards away from the actual mosque structure, was targeted using Hellfire missiles from AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters as well as two 500-pound laser guided bombs.

Initial reports indicated 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.

A Central Command statement claimed one anti-Coalition force member to have been killed in the attack with no report of civilian casualties, while other media reports suggested a number of civilian casualties.

Geneva convention laws list mosques as protected sites until they are used as platforms for enemy firing positions, at which point they may be considered a lawful military target. Schools and hospitals fall under the same protected status. 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

Marines on the ground observed no damage to the mosque.


Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque complex
Fallujah, Iraq

Click on the small image to view a larger version

Overview of the approximate area where coalition forces attacked a mosque being used by armed militants
(Source: DigitalGlobe, 09/15/02)

Pre-war imagery of the neighborhood surrounding the Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque that was used by armed militants on April 7, 2004.
(Source: DigitalGlobe, 09/15/02)

Pre-war imagery of the Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque complex used by armed militants on April 7, 2004.
(Source: DigitalGlobe, 09/15/02)

Baath Party Parade Reviewing Stand
(Source: DigitalGlobe, 09/15/02)
An aerial photo taken shortly after Marines called in close-air support to breach a wall surrounding the Haj Musheen Abdul Aziz Az-Kubaysi mosque complex shows the accuracy of the laser-guided bomb. Marines were under attack from enemy forces using the protected site as a platform from which to fire on advancing Marines. Marines blasted the wall and killed attackers inside.
(Official Department of Defense photo)
Iraqi militants' use of this mosque for military purposes was a violation of The Law of Land Warfare. As a result of its used by insurgents, the mosque became a legitimate military target.
(Official Department of Defense photo)




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