[eDebate] the news & stromboli
Fri Jun 2 18:06:58 CDT 2006
Since Mr. Stromboli has been attempting to keep us educated on politics, I was suddenly struck by the spirit of his generosity and decided to join in.
Troops cleared in Iraqi deaths in Ishaqi
By Will Dunham 1 hour, 28 minutes ago from Reuters
A U.S. military probe has exonerated U.S. troops in the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Ishaqi in March, finding American forces followed standard procedures and committed no misconduct, defense officials said on Friday.
The Ishaqi incident was one of a handful involving civilian deaths being investigated by the U.S. military, including the deaths of 24 civilians in the town of Haditha last November.
Police in Ishaqi, 60 miles north of Baghdad, have said six adults and five children were shot dead in a U.S. military raid on a home on March 15.
The U.S. military maintains there were four dead in the incident, including a guerrilla, two women and a child, and said they died after troops were fired upon from the house as they arrived to arrest an al Qaeda suspect.
The defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an investigation found no wrongdoing by U.S. forces.
The officials said a military fact-finding inquiry determined that U.S. forces followed proper procedures and that the civilian deaths were unintentional.
In the Haditha case, which some commentators are comparing to the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the military is investigating civilian deaths in the town west of Baghdad on November 19.
The military is investigating whether U.S. Marines went on a rampage after a comrade was killed by an insurgent roadside bomb and shot dead two dozen civilians, including women and children. U.S. defense officials have said Marines could face charges including murder.
A military spokesman announced the investigation into the Ishaqi incident on March 21.
U.S. officials described a nighttime raid aimed at finding a specific guerrilla, who then fled the building but was later caught. Another guerrilla who fired from the building was killed in the raid, they said.
"When the assault force arrived, they took fire," said one official. The U.S. troops then pulled back and called in air support from an AC-130 gunship, and U.S. forces then fired on the house, the official said.
No further investigation of the incident is planned by the U.S. military, the official said.
Police in Ishaqi have offered a different account. Police said five children, four women and two men were shot dead by troops in a house that was then blown up.
They said all the victims were shot in the head, and that the bodies, with hands bound, were dumped in one room before the house was destroyed. Television footage showed the bodies in a morgue. Their wounds were not clear, although one infant had a gaping head wound.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said he is losing patience with reports of U.S. troops killing civilians. Many Iraqis believe unjustified killings by U.S. troops are common, but few have been confirmed by official investigations.
The White House said on Friday it shares Maliki's concerns about civilian deaths in Iraq, allegedly by U.S. Marines, and emphasized Washington wants to work with him.
Maliki said on Friday the Iraqi government will demand the United States share files from the investigation of the killings in Haditha. On Thursday, he decried the deaths as "a terrible crime where women and children were eliminated."
The U.S. military on Thursday directed troops in Iraq to undergo new training on the need to follow legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.
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