Iraqi Witnessing Abuse Kills US Soldiers
- Killer of U.S. Soldiers Becomes a Hero
Inter Press Service
By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail*
BAGHDAD, Jan 7 (IPS) - The recent killing of two U.S. soldiers by
their Iraqi colleague has raised disturbing questions about U.S.
military relations with the Iraqis they work with.
On Dec. 26, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on U.S. soldiers accompanying
him during a joint military patrol in the northern Iraqi city Mosul.
He killed the U.S. captain and another sergeant, and wounded three
others, including an Iraqi interpreter.
Conflicting versions of the killing have arisen. Col. Hazim
al-Juboory, uncle of the attacker Kaissar Saady al-Juboory, told IPS
that his nephew at first watched the U.S. soldiers beat up an Iraqi
woman. When he asked them to stop, they refused, so he opened fire.
"Kaissar is a professional soldier who revolted against the Americans
when they dragged a woman by her hair in a brutal way," Col. Juboory
said. "He is a tribal man, and an Arab with honour who would not
accept such behaviour. He killed his captain and sergeant knowing that
he would be executed."
Others gave IPS a similar account. "I was there when the American
captain and his soldiers raided a neighbourhood and started shouting
at women to tell them where some men they wanted were," a resident of
Mosul, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS on phone. "The
women told them they did not know, and their men did not do anything
wrong, and started crying in fear."
The witness said the U.S. captain began to shout at his soldiers and
the women, and his men then started to grab the women and pull them by
"The soldier we knew later to be Kaissar shouted at the Americans,
'No, No,' but the captain shouted back at the Iraqi soldier," the
witness told IPS. "Then the Iraqi soldier shouted, 'Let go of the
women you sons of bitches,' and started shooting at them." The
soldier, he said, then ran off.
The Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni organisation, issued a
statement saying the Iraqi soldier had shot the U.S. soldiers after he
saw them beat up a pregnant woman.
"His blood rose and he asked the occupying soldiers to stop beating
the woman," they said in the statement. "Their answer through the
translator was: 'We will do what we want. So he opened fire on them."
The story was first reported on al-Rafidain satellite channel. That
started Iraqis from all over the country talking about "the hero" who
sacrificed his life for Iraqi honour.
The U.S. and Iraqi military told a different version of the story.
An Iraqi general told reporters that Kaissar carried out the attack
because he had links to "Sunni Arab insurgent groups."
"Soldier Kaissar Saady worked for insurgent groups who pushed him to
learn army movements and warn his comrades about them," a captain of
the second Iraqi army division told IPS. "There are so many like him
in the army and now within the so-called Awakening forces (militias
funded by the U.S. military)."
One army officer speaking on condition of anonymity described
Kaissar's act as heroic. "Those Americans learned their lesson once more."
Sheikh Juma' al-Dawar, chief of the major al-Baggara tribe in Iraq,
told IPS in Baghdad that "Kaissar is from the al-Juboor tribes in
Gayara -- tribes with morals that Americans do not understand."
The tribal chief added, "Juboor tribes and all other tribes are proud
of Kaissar and what he did by killing the American soldiers. Now he is
a hero, with a name that will never be forgotten."
Many Iraqis speak in similar vein. "It is another example of Iraqi
people's unity despite political conspiracies by the Americans and
their tails (collaborators)," Mohammad Nassir, an independent
politician in Baghdad told IPS. "Kaissar is loved by all Iraqis who
pray for his safety and who are ready to donate anything for his welfare."
Col. Juboory said Kaissar who had at first accepted collaboration with
the U.S. forces "found the truth too bitter to put up with." The
colonel said: "I worked with the Americans because being an army
officer is my job and also because I was convinced they would help
Iraqis. But 11 months was enough for me to realise that starving to
death is more honourable than serving the occupiers. They were mean in
Independent sources have since told IPS that Kaissar was captured by a
special joint Iraqi-U.S. force, and he is now being held and tortured
at the al-Ghizlany military camp in Mosul.
Despite a recent decline in the number of occupation forces being
killed, 2007 was the deadliest year of the occupation for U.S. troops,
with 901 killed, according to the U.S. Department of Defence.
(*Ali, our correspondent in Baghdad, works in close collaboration with
Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who has reported
extensively from Iraq and the Middle East)
Iraqi soldier accused of killing US GIs
By ELENA BECATOROS,
Associated Press Writer
Sat Jan 5, 2007
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi soldier is accused of turning on two decorated
American servicemen and shooting them to death during a joint
operation in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said Saturday. An Iraqi
official said the suspect may have links to militant groups.
The shooting the day after Christmas in the northern city of Mosul,
which left three other U.S. soldiers and a civilian interpreter
wounded, was the second known attack by a member of the Iraqi military
on the American troops who train and work closely with Iraqi forces.
Initial results from an Iraqi investigation indicate that the soldier
who opened fire may have links to local militants, said Brig. Mutaa
Habib Jassim al-Khazrachi, commander of the Iraqi army's 2nd Division,
who did not elaborate.
Brig. Nour al-Din Hussein, commander of the Iraqi army's 4th Brigade,
2nd Division in Mosul said the Iraqi soldier was a Sunni from the
al-Qayara area south of Mosul city.
Parts of Mosul are considered strongholds of the Sunni extremist group
al-Qaida in Iraq.
The suspect and another Iraqi soldier were in custody, the U.S.
The military identified the slain Americans as Capt. Rowdy J. Inman,
38, of Panorama Village, Texas and Sgt. Benjamin B. Portell, 27, of
Bakersfield, Calif. Both were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd
Armored Cavalry Regiment and were based at Fort Hood, Texas. Inman had
been awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Portell the Army Commendation
"For reasons that are yet unknown, at least one Iraqi Army soldier
allegedly opened fire killing" the two, the U.S. military said.
The soldier fled "but was identified by other Iraqi army personnel"
and was apprehended, it said.
The U.S. military said its investigators and the Iraqi army were
looking into the shooting.
Al-Khazrachi said the U.S. soldiers were shot during a firefight
between the joint forces and gunmen. Troops often come under attack
when moving into new areas to establish patrol bases or outposts.
The U.S. military said in April 2006 that an Iraqi soldier had been
accused of fatally shooting a U.S. Marine at a base near Qaim, 200
miles west of Baghdad, near the Syrian border.
A memorial service was held for Inman Friday in Killeen, Texas, near
Fort Hood. The career military man was a veteran of Operation Desert
Storm. He is survived by his wife, Shannon; daughters Keeley and
Casey; and a son, Gary.
Inman's sister said the family had no comment and declined to say
whether family members had been told any details of her brother's death.
"That will all come out through the military," Paula Inman said.
Portell was recently married and on a second tour of duty in Iraq,
according to an obituary in the Bakersfield Californian.
"Ben was a great guy," Brian Murphy, a pastor at the Riverlakes
Community Church told the paper. "He just got married seven months
ago. It's horrible."
The paper said Portell's older brother is serving in Iraq and a
younger brother used to serve in the army and also fought in Iraq.
Iraq's national police force is widely known to be infiltrated by
Shiite militias in the southern city of Basra, the police chief
fired 1,000 officers in December but the army is believed to be less
prone to the phenomenon.
The U.S. and Iraqi military have been joined by predominantly Sunni
tribal groups that have turned against al-Qaida in Iraq.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered his strongest
public support to date for the U.S.-backed groups, promising to
integrate a "large number" of them in the security forces.
The comments, in an interview published Saturday in the London-based
Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat, came as al-Maliki returned to Iraq after
spending a week in London for what his office had described as a
routine medical checkup.
"A large number of (the groups) will be integrated by the police and
army according to health, age, academic qualifications and criminal
and security records," he said in the interview. He gave no details.
His government has said only 20,000 of the estimated 70,000 members
will be absorbed into security forces.
"They contributed to security and we will continue to support them in
Al-Maliki, a Shiite, dismissed as "deliberate distortions" reports
that his government was opposed to the predominantly Sunni groups, but
added that he wanted to protect them against infiltration.
Separately Saturday, the U.S. military rejected reports of a roadside
bomb striking a passing minibus and killing six people north of the
town of Muqdadiyah, about 55 miles north of Baghdad. However, an
official in the joint coordination center of Diyala province and an
officer in Diyala police said the attack had occurred, and both
confirmed the casualty figure. Both officials spoke on condition of
anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media in
one of Iraq's most violent areas. It was impossible to independently
confirm either account.
Associated Press writer Hamza Hendawi and Mazin Yahya contributed to
WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE
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