Iraq rejects US probe clearing US troops of killings civilians in Ishaqi

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

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Adnan al-Kazimi, an advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said, "We have from more than one source that the Ishaqi killings were carried out under questionable circumstances. More than one child was killed. This report was not fair for the Iraqi people and the children who were killed".

The U.S. military yesterday made a statement about Ishaqi allegations that U.S. troops "executed a family … and then hid the alleged crimes by directing an air strike, are absolutely false". Troops had been fired on and they returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the house, killing one militant and "up to nine collateral deaths".

In March, the U.S. military said four people died when they attacked a house suspected of holding an al-Qaida operative. The house was destroyed by fire from the ground and air.

The BBC has video evidence that US forces may have been responsible for the deliberate killing of 11 Iraqi civilians. The videotape, from a hard-line Sunni group opposed to coalition forces, shows a number of dead adults and children at the site. Clearly gunshot wounds according to John Simpson, BBC world affairs.

Local Iraqis said there were 11 total deaths, and claimed that they were killed by U.S. troops before the house was leveled. An unidentified local said, "After they handcuffed them, they shot them dead. Later, they struck the house with their planes. They wanted to hide the evidence. Even a 6-month-old infant was killed. Even the cows were killed, too"

Also according to Associated Press Police in Ishaqi say five children, four women and two men were shot in the head, and that the bodies, with hands bound, were dumped in one room before the house was blown up.

Riyadh Majid, nephew of Faez Khalaf, who was killed, said U.S. forces landed in helicopters and raided the home. Ahmed, Khalaf's brother said nine of the victims were family members who lived at the house and two were visitors.

The U.S. military said in March that the allegations were being investigated. On Friday U.S. military said it was targeting and captured an individual suspected of supporting foreign fighters of the al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist network. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S military spokesman acknowledged there were "possibly up to nine collateral deaths". The 'collateral deaths' are:

  • Turkiya Muhammed Ali, 75 years
  • Faiza Harat Khalaf, 30 years
  • Faiz Harat Khalaf, 28 years
  • Um Ahmad, 23 years
  • Sumaya Abdulrazak, 22 years
  • Aziz Khalil Jarmoot, 22 years
  • Hawra Harat Khalaf, 5 years
  • Asma Yousef Maruf, 5 years
  • Osama Yousef Maruf, 3 years
  • Aisha Harat Khalaf, 3 years
  • Husam Harat Khalaf, 6 months

According to Reuters there is a widespread public perception that U.S. troops can shoot and kill with impunity and Iraqi leaders are too weak to do anything about it. Abdullah Hussein, an engineer in Baghdad, says to Reuters "Ishaqi is just another reason why we shouldn't trust the Americans", and continue "First they lied about the weapons of mass destruction, then there was the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and now it's clear to the world they were guilty in Haditha"

John Simpson, BBC Correspondent in Baghdad says "It's hard to find an Iraqi here who has not suffered, through his family, his friends, from the tough tactics the Americans use".

Wijdan Michael, Human Rights Minister, said a fact-finding commission would be sent to Ishaqi in the next few days.

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External links

Wikipedia Learn more about the Ishaqi massacre on Wikipedia.
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