Iraq: The deadliest war for journalists

More journalists were killed during the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq than in any war in history.

Al Jazeera journalist Tareq Ayoub was killed in a US airstrike during the US-led invasion of Iraq. His daughter Fatima was 14 months old at the time. (GALLO/GETTY)

On April 8, 2003, during the US-led invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayoub was killed when a US warplane bombed Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Baghdad.

The invasion and subsequent nine-year occupation of Iraq claimed the lives of a record number of journalists. It was undisputedly the deadliest war for journalists in recorded history.

Disturbingly, more journalists were murdered in targeted killings in Iraq than died in combat-related circumstances, according to the group Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Living with No Future: Iraq, 10 Years Later

Back then, everybody was writing about Iraq, but it’s surprising how few Americans, including reporters, paid much attention to the suffering of Iraqis. Today, Iraq is in the news again. The words, the memorials, the retrospectives are pouring out, and again the suffering of Iraqis isn’t what’s on anyone’s mind. This was why I returned to that country before the recent 10th anniversary of the Bush administration’s invasion and why I feel compelled to write a few grim words about Iraqis today.

But let’s start with then. It’s April 8, 2004, to be exact, and I’m inside a makeshift medical center in the heart of Fallujah while that predominantly Sunni city is under siege by American forces. I’m alternating between scribbling brief observations in my notebook and taking photographs of the wounded and dying women and children being brought into the clinic.

A woman suddenly arrives, slapping her chest and face in grief, wailing hysterically as her husband carries in the limp body of their little boy. Blood is trickling down one of his dangling arms. In a few minutes, he’ll be dead. This sort of thing happens again and again.

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Democracy Now! Interviews Dahr Jamail on Iraq 10 Years After US Invasion (Part 2)

“Ten Years Later, U.S. Has Left Iraq With Mass Displacement & Epidemic of Birth Defects, Cancers”

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Democracy Now! Interviews Dahr Jamail on Iraq 10 Years After US Invasion (Part 1)

“Dahr Jamail Returns to Iraq to Find Rampant Torture and a Failed State Living in ‘Utter Devastation’”

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