U.S. Military Denies New Abuse Allegations at Ishaqi

ByABC News
June 2, 2006, 10:45 AM

June 2, 2006 — -- Horrific images of Iraqi adults and children have fueled new allegations that U.S. troops killed civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi. But ABC News has learned that military officials have completed their investigation and concluded that U.S. forces followed the rules of engagement.

A senior Pentagon official told ABC News the investigation concluded that the allegations of intentional killings of civilians by American forces are unfounded.

Military commanders in Iraq launched an investigation soon after the mid-March raid in the village of Ishaqi, about 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell will make a statement about the Ishaqi allegations today in Baghdad, ABC News has learned.

In Ishaqi, American forces were going after a high-value terrorist target they succeeded in apprehending. The U.S. military reported in March that four people died when the troops destroyed a house from the air and ground.

But previously unaired video shot by an AP Television News cameraman at the time shows at least five children dead, several with obvious bullet wounds to the head. One adult male is also seen dead.

"Children were stuck in the room, alone and surrounded," an unidentified man said on the video.

A total of 11 people died, according to Iraqis on the scene. The Iraqis said the people were killed by U.S. troops before the house was destroyed.

The allegations in Ishaqi surfaced amid several other alleged incidents that have raised questions about the behavior of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Military sources told ABC News that charges will likely be filed against officers up the chain of command in connection with the killing of 24 civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.

Among those who may be charged are senior officers whom officials believe were not on the scene at the time of the killings but should have been aware that something had happened and done something about it.

On Thursday, the White House confirmed that an investigation began nearly three months after the Haditha killings, after Time Magazine showed a video to a military spokesman.