Recently, yet another war crime of the US Military forces came to light and became global headlines receiving condemnation all around. Of the many unilateral wars the US is engaged in, Iraq war is again in the limelight due to the images, obtained by TMZ, that show the US Elite force of Marines mishandling the remains of Iraqi insurgents slain in Fallujah in 2004. With the pictures published by TMZ, the US Government has initiated a military investigation of the actions of the Marines. The pictures clearly depict US Marines in absolute violation of military code that makes it imperative for service members to handle remains in accordance with Islamic customs and also prohibits them from posing in photos of dead bodies.
The exact number of pictures acquired by TMZ is not know however, as per TMZ, they have released only 41 of the many they acquired.
A Marine seems to pours gasoline on a dead body despite military code that bars service from appearing in photos with corpses.
A body, believed to be of an insurgent, burns in one of the photos. Military code requires soldiers to handle remains of the enemy in accordance with Islamic tradition.
Another Marine seen dousing the dead body of an Iraqi in gasoline to burn is subsequently
A dead body set aflame by a Marine in Iraq in 2004
There is no statute of limitations on the crimes, so the Marines could still face charges regardless of whether they have been discharged from the military.
The photographs the gossip site chose not to publish were even more gruesome, including shots depicting well over a dozen bodies and one that shows a dog eating a corpse.
"We are currently investigating to determine the veracity of the photos, what the circumstances depicted in them are, and if possible, the identities of the service members involved," Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ty Balzer said. "The results of that will determine whether we are able to move forward with any investigation into possible wrongdoing."
The city was the site of the most fierce fighting of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 100 Marines and soldiers were killed routing insurgents from the city in 2004.
The New York Times reported last week that the recent fall of Fallujah had prompted much soul-searching among Marines who feared their sacrifice had been for naught.
Warren suspected the timing of the new gruesome images was not coincidental.
“I don’t know who sent these photos to TMZ. But they presumably sent them because Fallujah has been in the news recently,” he said.
In 2005 report, U.S. soldiers in Gumbad, Afghanistan were investigated for burning the bodies of two enemy fighters.
The men argued they set alight the corpses for hygienic reasons, after local citizens had not retrieved the bodies after 24 hours.
A report concluded that the action indicated poor judgement but was not a war crime.
'Based on the criminal investigation, there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation of desecration or any violation of the Law of War. However, there was evidence of poor decision-making and judgment, poor reporting and lack of knowledge and respect for local Afghan customs and tradition.'