The latest wikileaks dump has revealed the details of a 2006 massacre carried out by US troops in Iraq where ten members of the Al-Majma’ee family were summarily murdered outside the city of Balad. Among those killed were Mr. Faiz Hratt Khalaf, (age 28), his wife Sumay’ya Abdul Razzaq Khuther (age 24), their three children Hawra’a (age 5) Aisha ( age 3) and Husam (5 months old), Faiz’s mother Ms. Turkiya Majeed Ali (age 74), Faiz’s sister (name unknown), Faiz’s nieces Asma’a Yousif Ma’arouf (age 5), and Usama Yousif Ma’arouf (age 3), and a visiting relative Ms. Iqtisad Hameed Mehdi (aged 23).
The leaked cable was written by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, and was sent to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. The cable reads in part:
According to the information received, American troops approached Mr. Faiz’s home in the early hours of 15 March 2006. It would appear that when the MNF approached the house, shots were fired from it and a confrontation ensued for some 25 minutes. The MNF troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the initial MNF intervention, a US air raid ensued that destroyed the house.
Iraqi TV stations broadcast from the scene and showed bodies of the victims (i.e. five children and four women) in the morgue of Tikrit. Autopsies carries out at the Tikrit Hospital’s morgue revealed that all corpses were shot in the head and handcuffed.
I am aware that the MNF confirmed that an air raid took place that day in Balad and that it caused an unconfirmed number of casualties. The US military attacked the house to capture members of Mr. Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee’s family on the basis that they were allegedly involved in the killing of two MNF soldiers who were killed between 6 to 11 March 2006 in the Al Haweeja area. The US military was further reported in the media as stating that MNF troops attacked the house in question to capture “a foreign fighter facilitator for the Al Qaeda in Iraq network”. Other reports indicate that over the past five months, there have been a significant number of lethal incidents in which the MNF is alleged to have used excessive force to respond to perceived threats either at checkpoints or by using air bombing in civilian areas.