Saturday, July 01, 2006

Capture and Mutilation Of U.S. Soldiers Possibly Reprisal

A soldier from the same unit that suffered the capture and mutilation of two soldiers and the combat death of another in an ambush two weeks ago has come forward with allegations of the rape of an Iraqi woman and the murders of members of her family that occurred in March.

The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that American soldiers raped and killed a woman and killed three of her family members in a town south of Baghdad, then reported the incident as an insurgent attack, a military official said Friday.

The alleged crimes occurred in March in the insurgent hotbed of Mahmudiyah. The four soldiers involved, from the 502nd Infantry Regiment, attempted to burn the family's home to the ground and blamed insurgents for the carnage, according to a military official familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was providing details not released publicly...

Maj. Gen James D. Thurman, commander of the Army's 4th Infantry Division, to which the 502nd is attached, ordered the investigation into the killings more than a week ago, according to a terse statement released by the military Friday. A preliminary inquiry "found sufficient information existed to recommend a criminal investigation into the incident," the statement said.

(T)he prospect that soldiers may have committed rape could make the Mahmudiyah allegations particularly incendiary. Charges that U.S. forces have killed civilians come as little shock to many Iraqis, but sex crimes -- especially those perpetrated against Muslim women by someone outside the faith -- can generate greater outrage in the Islamic world. The 2004 Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal inflamed passions in large part because of the sexual humiliations detainees suffered...

The AP, whose reporter was embedded with the 502nd in early June, also reported Friday that at least one soldier had confessed to involvement in the alleged crimes and was motivated to come forward when his fellow soldiers were kidnapped and murdered.

The unusual degree of savagery shown by the Iraqi insurgents towards their captives in the Yusufiya case is leading some analysts to conclude that the incident was a reprisal for the rape and murders of the family.


Blogger EuroYank said...

Recalling some of the American massacres and butchering of Iraqi civilians in the first war against Iraq, and the sanctions that killed millions, I would think reprisals of any kind are not out of the question. You have been at war with Iraq since 1991. Anything is possible!

7/02/2006 2:27 AM  

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