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Old 03-31-2003, 05:06 PM   #1
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U.S. Forces Kill Seven Iraqi Women, Kids

Just saw this at yahoo...


U.S. Forces Kill Seven Iraqi Women, Kids
13 minutes ago

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By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - U.S. troops killed seven Iraqi women and children at a checkpoint Monday when the Iraqis' van would not stop as ordered, U.S. Central Command said.

Two other civilians were wounded at a U.S. Army checkpoint on a highway near Najaf in southern Iraq (news - web sites), according to a Pentagon (news - web sites) official and a Central Command statement. The military is investigating, the statement said.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, said U.S. warplanes dropped 3,000 precision-guided bombs over the weekend in an intensified air campaign aimed at weakening the Republican Guard divisions ringing Baghdad. The Pentagon also said fresh U.S. forces were heading for the Gulf region.

In the checkpoint shooting, Central Command said initial reports indicated the soldiers followed the rules of engagement to protect themselves. "In light of recent terrorist attacks by the Iraqi regime, the solders exercised considerable restraint to avoid the unnecessary loss of life," the statement said.

The soldiers involved were from the 3rd Infantry Division, the same unit that lost four soldiers at a checkpoint near Najaf Saturday when an Iraqi soldier dressed as a civilian detonated a car bomb.

The seven dead and two wounded on Monday were among 13 women and children in a van that approached the checkpoint but did not stop, according to the Central Command statement.

It said soldiers motioned for the driver to stop but were ignored. The soldiers then fired warning shots, which also were ignored. They then shot into the vehicle's engine, but the van continued moving toward the checkpoint, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, fresh U.S. forces are flowing to the Persian Gulf, including 500 members of an Army cavalry regiment being sent ahead of schedule to help protect U.S. supply lines from Iraqi attack.

The buildup comes amid upbeat Pentagon assessments of progress against Iraq's strongest army force, the Republican Guard, which one U.S. general said Monday had suffered a "very significant weakening" from intensified American and British aerial bombardment.

"We know how it will end: The Iraqi regime will end," said Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke. "But we know that there could be some tough fighting ahead."

Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations on the Pentagon's Joint Staff, told a news conference that more than 300,000 allied forces are now in the Gulf region, about 250,000 of them American. Last Friday his boss, Gen. Richard Myers, had put the allied total at 270,000.

McChrystal would not discuss specific missions of the additional forces that are en route to the Gulf or getting ready to go. They include 500 members of the Army's 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment who left their Fort Polk, La., base on Sunday. They and their Humvee scout vehicles, Kiowa reconnaissance helicopters and other equipment were sent by air, enabling them to get to Iraq quicker than if the equipment had been sent by sea as originally planned.

Other members of the 2nd Armored Cavalry are to go by sea.

Iraqi paramilitary forces have launched hit-and-run attacks on supply lines between Kuwait and central Iraq, forcing U.S. commanders to devote more combat resources to protecting those lines.

The Army also is sending the 4th Infantry Division, its showpiece armored force, to Iraq. Members of the Fort Hood, Texas-based division began flying to Kuwait late last week. They originally were to deploy to Turkey to open a northern front against Baghdad, but Turkey refused access.

The first of about three dozen ships carrying the 4th Infantry's equipment arrived in Kuwait on Sunday, and the rest are expected to get there by mid-April. That would appear to make it unlikely the division will be ready in time to participate in a looming battle for Baghdad.

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, Colo., also is going. Five ships carrying its equipment from ports in Texas are now on their way to the Gulf, and two more are loading.

Also scheduled to deploy, but not yet moving, is the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood.

The Navy also is making adjustments. It announced Monday that four F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft from the carrier USS Nimitz in the Indian Ocean have been temporarily reassigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf.

The Super Hornets, which normally are used in a fighter role, will fly refueling missions, making up for what the Navy called a shortage of fuel for strike planes searching for targets over Iraq.

Once the Nimitz gets into the Gulf, it is expected to relieve the Lincoln, which is overdue to return to its home station at Everett, Wash.

The Navy has a total of three carriers in the Gulf and two in the eastern Mediterranean.

McChrystal gave an upbeat assessment of allied forces' progress on the ground in Iraq, particularly against the Republican Guard divisions protecting the approaches to Baghdad. He said intensified airstrikes over the weekend had taken much of the fight out of them.

"We see some very significant weakening and it will hit a tipping point in some of their formations," he said.

He said some elements of other Republican Guard units have moved to shore up the Medina Division that has been the main target of U.S. bombing.

Coalition planes flew about 2,000 sorties Monday, including more than 800 strike missions, the official said. About two-thirds of those strike sorties were against Republican Guard divisions arrayed around Baghdad.

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Old 03-31-2003, 05:20 PM   #2
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Horrors! *Not* good.

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Old 03-31-2003, 05:39 PM   #3
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Why? Why? Why?????

Why didn't they stop?????

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Old 03-31-2003, 08:42 PM   #4
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Because they were terrorists. There are reports now that the soldiers did not fire enough shots to kill all those people. To kill 9 people in a car would require an extremely large amount of ammunition and I don't think, even with recent events, that the soldiers would have pumped that much in to the car. In light of the other thread about the treatment of women in Iraq, I'm sure there is more to this than initial reports and I would bet that some of those women were dead before they even reached the checkpoint.
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Old 03-31-2003, 08:57 PM   #5
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I also think that this whole thing is very strange. I almost don't want to weigh in on this because it either was another terrorist run with a vehicle or the soldiers shooting at them freaked them out and they tried to get out of there. I haven't heard enough details yet. I would like to think that our troops made the best judgement - we'll see.
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Old 03-31-2003, 10:03 PM   #6
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All the news says they shot women and children and an officer admitted it and says they need to put some more effort into distinquishing b/w civilians and noncivilians

not good is right
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Old 03-31-2003, 10:31 PM   #7
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Basstrap, did you forget that just this weekend a suicide bomber in a taxi ran into troops and killed some? Imagine you are one of the soldiers at that checkpoint - What in the world would you do if a van was driving at you and warning shots didn't deter it?
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Old 03-31-2003, 10:39 PM   #8
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i don't think a suicide bomber is a terrorist when attacking soldiers. it's war... i think it is a different story when civilians are attacked, like in Palestine.
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Old 03-31-2003, 11:01 PM   #9
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80's...what is your point?

I said it is not good...are you opposing that statement? I'm confused
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Old 04-01-2003, 03:33 AM   #10
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They don't shoot out the tires anymore?
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Old 04-01-2003, 07:08 AM   #11
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Originally posted by Man Inside The Child
i don't think a suicide bomber is a terrorist when attacking soldiers. it's war... i think it is a different story when civilians are attacked, like in Palestine.
I agree.
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Old 04-01-2003, 07:11 AM   #12
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Old 04-01-2003, 07:58 AM   #13
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Originally posted by Man Inside The Child
i don't think a suicide bomber is a terrorist when attacking soldiers. it's war... i think it is a different story when civilians are attacked, like in Palestine.
For a soldier to dress as a civilian is against all established conventions for war for obvious reasons. It may not be a "terrorist" act, but it now puts too many at risk.
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Old 04-01-2003, 08:05 AM   #14
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this should do wonders for the "hearts and minds" campaign.
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 04-01-2003, 09:04 AM   #15
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I think they need to adopt other methods of stopping these vehicles. Admiral William Leahy once said, "wars cannot be won by destroying women and children." He was and is not wrong.

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