Top US Military Official Repeatedly Warned Iraq About Troops’ Conduct

ABC News discovered trove of disturbing images online, critics say "war crimes."

— -- America’s top military official, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, repeatedly warned Iraqi leaders about the conduct of both the Iraqi military and the militias that fight alongside them, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.

[A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst -- from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.]

The U.S. has blocked aid to the un-named Iraqi units under the Leahy Law since American troops returned to Iraq in August and began supporting government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters with airstrikes against ISIS jihadists, the senior official said.

“The Leahy Law is clear and sets a minimum standard. If there is credible information that foreign security forces have committed the worst crimes – such as torture, killings of civilians, rape, or executions of prisoners – then they are not eligible for U.S. aid unless the individuals involved are being appropriately punished," Sen. Leahy said this week.

Iraqi Army spokesperson, Gen. Saad Maan, told ABC News after viewing some of the images that were posted online that “of course” Iraq will investigate.

“We don’t have anything to hide,” the general said. “We don’t have anything to be in, let’s say, in a black corner.”


[A black uniformed individual holds the severed head of a purported Saudi ISIS fighter while standing on top of a black-painted Humvee. In the background, a man wears two patches signifying the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Emergency Response Brigade.]