WASHINGTON — The popular video-sharing Web site YouTube has dozens of unauthorized clips of soldiers in Iraq: some conducting missions, some joking around during downtime, some of troops being ambushed by insurgents.

Now, coalition officials have started posting authorized clips, too, in an effort to offer their look at the fight overseas.

Earlier this month, officials with Multi-National Force-Iraq debuted six videos of troops battling insurgents in Iraq, including a firefight on Haifa Street, footage from unmanned drones targeting anti-aircraft guns, and the discovery of a bomb factory during Operation Exelen III.

Officials have released three more since then, linking the whole group through their main Web site and encouraging bloggers to share or host the clips with their readers.

“We are trying to reach audiences that get their news in new and different ways,” said Lt. Col. Chris Garver, director of the Combined Press Information Center. “We want to present unfiltered images to these audiences to provide more context to what is happening on the ground in Iraq.”

The videos are the latest move by the office to offer information beyond mainstream news reports and basic press releases.

Last year, officials contacted numerous bloggers to encourage them to directly link to the MNF-I site. The online staff also provides access for online writers to additional news reports by military writers, as well as regular feeds of press releases and alerts normally made available to major media outlets.

Erick Barnes, Webmaster for the MNF-I site, said he hopes bloggers embrace the new video offerings.

“We want our clips to help tell the whole story about what is happening on the ground in Iraq, and bloggers provide a unique outlet for sending that story to a unique audience,” he said. “There are increasing numbers of people every day receiving their news and information in new and exciting ways. We want to be a part of that.”

The effort also takes advantage of a new YouTube service which lets posters create their own online channel, giving MNF-I a footprint on the popular Web site. Officials said that will help viewers of one video more easily find the others they’ve posted.

Garver said all of the clips posted so far come from public affairs outlets and Pentagon Channel reporters. But servicemembers can submit their own footage for consideration through the main site,, or by e-mailing it to

Clips with profanity, sexual content, graphic or disturbing images, jokes about Iraqi Security Forces or Iraqis, and clips that may violate operational security will not be considered.

“We ensure clips present the proper image, that the clips give viewers around the world a ‘boots on the ground’ perspective of Operation Iraqi Freedom from those who are fighting it,” Garver said.

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