U.S. General Accuses Iraqis of Executing Prisoners of War
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s Larry King Wednesday night that Iraqi forces had engaged in a succession of atrocities in the first six days of the war.
“They have executed prisoners of war. … They have used women and children as human shields and they have pretended to surrender and then opened fire,” Pace said. “I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s disgusting.”
Earlier in the day, Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clarke had told reporters the U.S. had at least one unconfirmed report that Iraqi forces had shot Americans who had either surrendered or were attempting to surrender.
The incident appears to have occurred when an Army supply convoy became lost in the city of Nasiriya Sunday and was surrounded by Iraqi forces. Five Americans were captured during the ensuing fight and later shown on Iraqi state television and the Arab language satellite channel Al Jazeera.
On the same tape, the bodies of at least five other American soldiers are shown and according to coalition leaders, several appear to have bullet wounds in the forehead.
The Associated Press reported that one senior Pentagon official said Wednesday that the U.S. had “one uncorroborated report indicating that at least some of the dead soldiers had been captured alive and executed in public.”
Clarke and other officials said the U.S. was looking into the accusations, but cautioned the report had not been confirmed.