Skip to comments.U.S. Military Denies New Abuse Allegations at Ishaqi (Marines Exonerated from Killings)
Posted on 06/02/2006 12:43:57 PM PDT by demlosers
Officials Conclude Troops Followed Rules of Engagement
Horrific images of Iraqi adults and children have fueled new allegations that U.S. troops killed civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi. But ABC News has learned that military officials have completed their investigation and concluded that U.S. forces followed the rules of engagement.
A senior Pentagon official told ABC News the investigation concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by American forces are unfounded.
Military commanders in Iraq launched an investigation soon after the mid-March raid in the village of Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell will make a statement about the Ishaqi allegations today in Baghdad, ABC News has learned.
In Ishaqi, American forces were going after a high-value terrorist target they succeeded in apprehending. The U.S. military reported in March that four people died when the troops destroyed a house from the air and ground.
But previously unaired video shot by an AP Television News cameraman at the time shows at least five children dead, several with obvious bullet wounds to the head. One adult male is also seen dead.
"Children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded," an unidentified man said on the video.
A total of 11 people died, according to Iraqis on the scene. The Iraqis said the people were killed by U.S. troops before the house was destroyed.
Other Incidents in Question
The allegations in Ishaqi surfaced amid several other alleged incidents that have raised questions about the behavior of U.S. troops in Iraq.
Military sources told ABC News that charges will likely be filed against officers up the chain of command in connection with the killing of 24 civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.
Among those who may be charged are senior officers whom officials believe were not on the scene at the time of the killings but should have been aware that something had happened and done something about it.
On Thursday, the White House confirmed that an investigation began nearly three months after the Haditha killings, after Time Magazine showed a video to a military spokesman.
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Until then, the military insisted the civilians in Haditha had been killed by a roadside bomb.
Two Women Killed
On Wednesday in Samarra, a pregnant woman named Nahiba Jassim and her cousin, Saliha Hassan, were killed by gunfire when their car entered what the U.S. military called a clearly marked, prohibited area near a checkpoint and observation post manned by coalition forces.
According to the military, the driver of the car ignored signals and commands to stop, so troops fired shots to disable the vehicle.
Facing a constant threat of deadly attacks by insurgents, American forces in Iraq are allowed to fire in self-defense if they believe they are in danger. One of the survivors of the incident told ABC News they were rushing the pregnant woman to the hospital because she was about to give birth and they didn't know the road was blocked.
Jassim's brother was driving, and he said the soldiers shot straight into their vehicle.
"I didn't see any warning," he says. "I was driving at speed, and they started shooting at us."
Doctors at the hospital tried to save Jassim's baby but failed.
The U.S. military generally compensates the family of any civilian who is killed inadvertently by American forces. It's not known if this will apply in this case.
Iraqi Leaders, President Bush React
The allegations of unwarranted violence have outraged Iraqi officials.
Reacting to video of the Ishaqi incident, Muayed al-Anbaki, chairman of the Iraqi Human Rights Association, said Friday, "It looks like the killing of Iraqi civilians is becoming a daily phenomenon."
On Thursday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the Haditha allegations "a horrible crime" his strongest comment on the incident to date.
"This is a phenomenon that has become common among many of the multinational forces," the prime minister said. "No respect for citizens, smashing civilian cars, and killing on a suspicion or a hunch. It's unacceptable."
At the same time, in light of the Haditha investigation, U.S. military commanders have ordered new ethics training for all troops in Iraq.
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"This is just a reminder for troops either in Iraq or throughout our military that there are high standards expected of them and there are strong rules of engagement," President Bush said. "The Haditha incident is under investigation. Obviously, the allegations are very troubling for me and equally troubling for our military."
Today, Army Brig. Gen. Donald Campbell explained to reporters what he thinks could be behind these incidents.
"Well, I'd say it's difficult to pin down specifically, but obviously, when you're in a combat theater dealing with enemy combatants who don't abide by the law of war, who do acts of indecency, soldiers become stressed, they become fearful," he said. "It's very difficult to determine in some cases on this battlefield who is a combatant and who is a civilian."
Campbell said the military will investigate the allegations.
"It doesn't excuse the acts that have occurred, and we're going to look into them," he said. "But I would say it's stress, fear, isolation and, in some cases, they're just upset. They see their buddies getting blown up on occasion, and they could snap."
Last week, Bush expressed regret for the Abu Ghraib prison scandal the first incident to raise questions about the military's handling of the war. He called it "the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement in Iraq."
ABC News' Hilary Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Terrorists are not civilians!
They are volunteer inlistees in satan's army of evil.
They wear civilian garb to hide among the innocent.
Like so many jack-asses in elephant drag.
I can't believe you posted such nonsense without a sarcasm tag.
I guess enough time has past for people and the vicious media to have forgotten all about those stolen and duplicated US and UK uniforms and they can now be put to use by the terrorists to smear our warriors.
Personally, I think the blame can be put on the powers that be that are making our troops fight a PC war. War is no place for PC. Anyone who thinks you can run a war by the rules in a rule book like you can a football game is just fooling themselves especially against an enemy who wants to wipe everyone not of the Muslim faith off the face of the earth, and an enemy who doesn't wear the uniform of any nation, and is cowardly enough to hide behind women and small children.
Sure. Why blame those responsible when you can just blame President Bush and Sec. Rumsfeld? Original!
But I would say it's stress, fear, isolation and, in some cases, they're just upset. They see their buddies getting blown up on occasion, and they could snap."
I would call it war.
It simply goes back to the statement by Pres. Bush at the beginning of the Iraq War, (slightly modified): You're either for freedom and the road to it or you're against it.
It's nearly impossible to sit on the fence although some Repubs manage it. We know what side Democrats and liberals are on. They want us to lose the war with many soldiers killed. Perhaps, they hope Saddam will return to power so they can mock our efforts. They are lacking in commonsense and the spirit of freedom, I tell you. And their only loyalty is to themselves.
"Insurgents in Haditha executed 19 Shiite fishermen and National Guardsmen in a sports stadium."
Our Marines did not kill these people.
The terrorists did.
I dissagree, the allegations seem to be generated by the same accusation machine. I will never believe the marines are guilty in Haditha with what I know now.
My faith is not blind it is based on credible information http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun2006/20060603_5320.html
""Insurgents in Haditha executed 19 Shiite fishermen and National Guardsmen in a sports stadium."
Our Marines did not kill these people.
The terrorists did."
That's a different incident to the one currently being investigated in relation to the US Marines. The story you refer to occured in April 2005. The incident involving the marines took place in November.
"It doesn't matter if they are innocent, the damage is done.
Yawn. Only if your a mental midget..."
Yawn.. MY ASS! Wake up! We should take this more seriously and we really have to fight it. Its called propaganda and we are losing that aspect of the war big time and thats exactly what I'm talking about. Its the enemy planting seeds in the MSM which in effect damage the troops moral, public perception and support for the war. Same was done in Vietnam and terrorists regularly try this tactic, this time is worked.
You and I dont believe this crap obviously, but that far from "no one." Im talking about public opinion in which the media targets, the regular citizens who dont read past the headlines like we do. They are not mental midgets but people who depend on the MSM for their news, then the polls, then more new stories.
Of course what you say is true, but any commander is familiar with the following: Q: How's it going? A: Great, Sir! Q: What's going on? A: Just making the world safe for democracy, Sir!
Q: What's the biggest problem you have? A: The men like to work too hard, Sir! It's hell getting them to take any time off.
Commander: Bullsh!t Sergeant, I want to know what's going on around here!
By getting out of the office and circulating around, the CO increases the likelihood that the troops are doing what they're supposed to be doing, because they WILL straighten up a bit more than "normal" when the CO is on the prowl.
I work with liberals and they did suprise me and say "we are at war"regarding the story. I was surprised; I am not worried about the people that depend on the MSM. Anyone with brains will feel the same way WAR is WAR. This will pass and we will be on to the next MSM scandal.
I'm not military, but we used to call the situation where the CO (Partner) would come by once in a while a "fly-by", or a "swoop & poop." I'm sure the military has similar terms, if indeed they didn't invent those.
We have a director where I work now that absolutely prowls the halls and tries to hear what people are saying when they don't know he's around. It's not pleasant.
I believe that this is yet another item in their(The Terrorists)"Bag of Tricks"!They understand the BIAS of MSM in this country(not to mention W.Europe)and so they are "PANDERING" to same!!They show absolutely NO respect for human life so why wouldn't they murder their own and then blame it on us?????????
Apparently,they(Senior Officers)are meant to be CLAIRVOYANT?
YES!Two different towns.
Of course!They(Lib MSM)are attempting to create a pattern of BRUTALITY!!!Funny thing,when CNN was in Iraq(prior to the war),Saddam was allowed to do whatever he wanted to his own people with their tacit approval!!!Their excuse for this(CNN)was they didn't want to get thrown out of the country!!!!It's plain to see that their"Reporting"from Iraq(prior to the invasion)was merely to sell time to their sponsors!!!!!!The"NEWS"has now reverted to merely"ENTERTAINMENT"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!