U.S. forces fire on Canadian vehicle in Iraq [Updated]
Date: Wednesday, February 01 2006
Topic: Military, Security, and Defence
By JOE FRIESEN
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 Posted at 11:27 PM EST
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
A vehicle carrying four members of a Canadian diplomatic mission in Iraq was fired on by U.S. forces inside Baghdad's Green Zone on Tuesday. No one was injured in the incident.
The vehicle was reportedly carrying Stewart Henderson, the Canadian chargé d'affaires in Iraq.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday night that it was aware of an incident in Baghdad Tuesday involving four Canadians, but would not confirm whether Mr. Henderson was among them.
“A vehicle with four Canadians who are part of our small mission in Baghdad was travelling in the Green Zone. U.S. forces fired on the engine block,” said Pamela Greenwell, a ministry spokeswoman.
“Canadian and U.S. authorities are looking into it.” she said.
A spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad said the incident was caused by the intermingling of two convoys.
“There was a U.S. military convoy and then the ambassador's convoy,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Johnson of the combined forces press centre.
The incident took place after the Canadians pulled out of the British compound in the Green Zone, a heavily fortified area in the centre of Baghdad where the Iraqi government office and the U.S. military's headquarters are located.
The diplomat said the Canadian vehicle – which had a Canadian flag symbol on its dash – waited for a U.S. convoy of five Humvees to pass. Then it followed at a safe distance at about 20 to 25 km/h for about five minutes. She said Canadian officials often share the road with U.S. military vehicles and saw nothing unusual about the situation.
Unlike the version offered by the U.S. military, the Canadian diplomat told CBC News that the American convoy had pulled entirely off the road and into a staging area behind a barrier.