Last week, a whistleblowing website WikiLeaks made public a U.S. diplomatic cable which proves that a controversial incident known as Ishaqi Massacre from March 15, 2006 which claimed the lives of at least 10 civilians from the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi, was a brutal and cowardly execution of defenceless people carried out by US troops. The cable provided evidence that a minimum of 10 Iraqi civilians had their hands cuffed behind their backs and were subsequently shot in the head by US troops. Among the victims was a woman in her 70’s and 5 children, one of them mere 5 months old. The Americans then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence and had all of their top commanders feed public with lies that no massacre took place. Public – traditionally – ate their lies with cherry on top.
The cable obtained by WikiLeaks contains quotes by the U.N. investigator who confirms extrajudicial killings. The investigators said an autopsy showed that each of the civilians had been handcuffed and shot in the head, including children under the age of 5. Photo of these executed children was captured on a cell phone by Ishaqi resident and obtained by McClatchy Newspapers.
Having witnessed extra-judicial execution of their fellow countrymen by US troops, the locals appealed to Iraqi officials who in return demanded action from the government, but U.S. officials – traditionally – denied that anything inappropriate had taken place in Ishaqi and brushed the case under the bed.
The U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston requested an explanation from the US authorities after autopsies performed in the Iraqi city of Tikrit showed that all the dead, among whom were four women and five children (each child 5 years old or younger), had been handcuffed and shot in the head. American military officials operating in Iraq said the accounts of eye witnesses from Ishaqi could not be trusted, and as such, the incident didn’t warrant further investigation. A disclosure of which units have been involved in the massacre was also refused by the US military.
The only explanation of the incident provided to the public by U.S. military spokesmen had it that an al Qaida suspect had been seized from a first-floor room of the building after a fierce fight that had left the house he used as his hideout in a pile of rubble. But the diplomatic cable proves a whole different sequence of events took place there. First of all – the house was destroyed after the initial incident by an air support, not during by the land troops, though they took care of burning of the family’s vehicles and killings of their animals. Secondly – no alleged suspects have been found nor arrested in or near the house. And thirdly – 11 people (2 men, 4 women and 5 children) who occupied the house at the time were handcuffed and executed by a gunshot in the head.
The cable contained 10 names of executed people:
- 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)
- Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (aged 3 years)
- a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23)
Tying up hands of a 74 year old woman and a 5 months old child behind their backs in order to execute them with a gunshot to the head? That’s a summary of US troops’ activity in Iraq in a single sentence right there.
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