February 9, 2013 missile attack
Camp Liberty: Safe haven or Killing field?
Camp Liberty is built up by containers. The US forces had installed large protective T-walls around each container and facility to protect their soldiers against likely rocket attack. Anyway, in the early days after residents’ arrival, despite residents’ protests and warnings, within a span of just few months, the Iraqi Camp Management removed all 17,750 T-walls to outside the camp. Unfortunately, neither the UNAMI nor U.S Embassy attended to the precautions, and at last, the residents were left vulnerable to missile attacks.
Since then, Camp Liberty has been attacked by missile fire on many occasions. Yet after the attacks, no efforts were made by the Iraqi government to make the Camp safer. The residents have repeatedly asked for large protective T-walls, sandbags, bulletproof vests, and helmets to be brought into Liberty. However, the Iraqi Government has consistently denied these requests and obstructed efforts by the residents to procure the safety materials themselves.
The attack of February 9, 2013
The first missile barrage slammed the camp on February 9, 2013. At about 5 a.m., approximately 40 rockets hit Camp Liberty slaying five residents instantly. Moreover, there was no medical equipment available inside the Camp beside an ambulance which was down as well. The Iraqi Camp Management created deliberate delays in transferring the wounded to hospital which obviously made the recovery process of them harder. Consequently, the sixth victim died a few hours later while being taken to hospital, the seventh died on February 12 in the hospital, with the eighth victim dying 33 days later on March 13 in the hospital. Therefore, at last the attack left 8 death and over 100 injured. “Army of Al-Mokhtar”, an Iranian regime’s proxy in Iraq, whose leader has also publicly declared allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader, claimed responsibility for the attack.
This occurred despite the fact that the UN knew of Liberty’s security vulnerabilities, which were highlighted both in its own security assessment of the Camp prior to relocating the residents from Ashraf to Liberty.