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US troops had shot 3 innocent Iraqis and denied any wrong-doing

In a retraction, the US military in Iraq announced that 3 people shot in an incident in June (June 25th) were actually innocent, and it was an accidental shooting of the car by soldiers who stated that the occupants of the car in the high security zone of Baghdad Airport did not acknowledge calls for the car to stop, and hence were fired upon. The situation of firing on people who do not acknowledge your orders is a risky proposition, but what makes this situation troublesome is that the initial reports of this incident at that time blamed the 3 civilians in the car; the position was that they opened fire on the military which took the necessary defensive action and killed them:

In its statement on the June shooting, the U.S. Army said its soldiers had felt threatened when they saw a car speeding up a road toward them, and the driver did not heed warnings to stop. The military said its June statement describing the dead as criminals was incorrect. Initially, some soldiers thought that someone in the car was shooting and that Iraqi police had found a weapon in the vehicle, the military said. However, no weapon was found and the passengers turned out to be a man and two women who worked at the airport bank.

Some Iraqi officials have demanded that U.S. soldiers not on combat missions face Iraqi courts in cases of violence against Iraqis. And the June 25 shooting looks likely to bolster their case. Parliament member Haidar Abadi, from Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s Islamic Dawa Party, said, “This would increase the Iraqi insistence about the issue of American soldiers’ immunity.” Abadi said Iraqis were angry about the false accusations against the shooting victims.

This incident will give a fillip to the push by Iraqi lawmakers to try US soldiers involved in incidents like these. This is a demand that no US administration will ever agree to, and will continue to be a bone of contention. Overall, this incident does not reflect well on any of the parties involved; the only redeeming feature is that the US military is probably the only military that seems to investigate incidents impartially and release these findings even if they reflect adversely on itself.

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