Night Raids and War Crimes

Just wanted to quickly draw attention to this WikiLeaks State Department diplomatic cable which details a horrible war crime committed by the US in Iraq in 2006. The cable excerpts a letter written by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions to the US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice:

I would like to draw the attention of your Government to information I have received regarding a raid conducted by the Multinational Forces (MNF) on 15 March 2006 in the house of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, a farmer living in the outskirts of Al-Iss Haqi District in Balad (Salah-El-Din Governorate).

I have received various reports indicating that at least 10 persons, namely Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (aged 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (aged 24), their three children Hawra’a (aged 5) Aisha ( aged 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (aged 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 5 years old), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23) were killed during the raid.

According to the information received, American troops approached Mr. Faiz’s home in the early hours of 15 March 2006. It would appear that when the MNF approached the house, shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued for some 25 minutes. The MNF troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the initial MNF intervention, a US air raid ensued that destroyed the house.

Iraqi TV stations broadcast from the scene and showed bodies of the victims (i.e. five children and four women) in the morgue of Tikrit. Autopsies carries out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.

Night raids like this, by the way, have become one of the primary strategies in Afghanistan. Frequent readers will note Antiwar.com’s persistent highlighting of these raids which very, very often kill civilians.

15 thoughts on “Night Raids and War Crimes”

  1. It's the re-incarnation of the Phoenix Program from Viet Nam. Night time raids which kill too many innocents, all to get one Viet Cong or Taliban chieftain. Standard practice; kick in the door, toss in grenades, any survivors, toss in more grenades. All the Civil Affairs people who are trying to win "hearts and minds" need soldiers to protect them because the men who kill in the night have long ago caused so much hatred that the Afghans only want to cut out all US hearts. "The Telegraph" of England just ran a story that says the US is arm twisting the Afghans to allow us to stay until 2024. That will protect the corporate profits of all the contractors.

  2. No surprise here. All I can say is my country kills far more innocent civilians than any army or so called terrorist organization.

  3. Crimes of soviets, nazys and now, americans.
    The same.
    Youtube is full of videos, praising US soldiers. Just like propaganda-movies from the 3rd Reich.

  4. There are two primary kinds or raids.

    The first and most typical is conducted with the goal of capturing prisoners and gaining inteligence. You surround the place leaving gunners at strategic positions so they can give support if needed. You then kick in the door and go in handcuffing anyone who looks like they will fight. Then you go through the builing looking for anything incriminating. You then take your prisoners and leave. (sometimes you do a few of these a night)

    The second is a raid on a known enemy position. These are conducted just as if you were storming a bunker. These don't happen nearly as often and are more likely to be carried out by Rangers or SF.

    The above case was neither of these, it was murder and whoever, did this or helped cover it up is guilty of a serious crime and needs to be put in prison. It probably started out with bad intelligence and then something went wrong. My guess is that someone was trigger happy and then they decided to cover it up by executing the rest of the family and calling in an air strike.

    What is the answer? End the wars and don't start new ones. They make people go nuts.

  5. "All charges have been dropped against three commandos who faced Australian courts-martial over the deaths of five children and an adult during a night raid on a home in Afghanistan in 2009, officials said Tuesday.

    The trio, whose names have not been made public, were the first Australian soldiers to ever be charged with manslaughter over civilian deaths in battle. The deaths came when the commandos stormed the home in Uruzgan province with gunfire and a grenade after coming under fire from the compound.

    ((The military decision to prosecute provoked a public backlash, with more than 20,000 Australians signing a petition for the charges to be dropped.))

    The Last paragraph says it all.

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