Military Leaders Respond Quickly to Haditha Allegations
- U.S. military leaders have taken immediate and aggressive action to investigate allegations of potential misconduct by U.S. Marines during the events surrounding an insurgent attack in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005.
- The Marines were responding to an IED and small-arms attack on their convoy in Haditha in western Iraq, which had killed a Marine.
- The unit involved in the event is the 3rd battalion, 1st Regiment, which is normally part of the 1st Marine Division, and was attached to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force for the operations in Haditha. This battalion has redeployed to their home base at Camp Pendleton, Calif. The unit was not brought back early; it rotated back on its normal schedule.
Two Investigations Ordered: Administrative and Criminal
- U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq, directed a preliminary investigation on Feb. 14, 2006, when allegations of possible violations of the rules of engagement were brought to the attention of Coalition officers.
- On March 9, 2006, the preliminary investigation findings were presented and Lt. Gen. Chiarelli ordered further review.
- This review is ongoing, along with a separate criminal investigation convened by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) ordered by Marine Maj. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, who is the commanding general of Multi-National Force – West.
- The administrative review (AR15-6) will look at policies and procedures, such as those pertaining to training and reporting.
- The NCIS investigation will look into allegations of criminal misconduct.
Any Violators Will Be Held Responsible
- If the allegations are substantiated, the Marine Corps will pursue appropriate legal and administrative actions against those responsible.
- “Solatia” payments to families of the Iraqis who died in Haditha should not be viewed as an admission of guilt. These payments are given in Iraq and other parts of the world as recompense for incidents ranging from minor property damage to loss of life.
Core Warrior Values Training Ordered
- The vast majority of 150,000 Coalition troops in Iraq perform their jobs magnificently, conducting themselves with honor under difficult circumstances.
- Forces receive training prior to deploying to Iraq. To reinforce and sustain this training, Lt. Gen. Chiarelli, the top Coalition operations commander in Iraq, has directed that all Coalition forces receive “core warrior values” training.
- Units will conduct the training over the next 30 days, which will highlight the importance of adhering to legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.