US soldiers do nothing as explosives are stolen in Al-Qaqqaa 5 replies

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Tekk9

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26th August 2004

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#1 14 years ago

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041104/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_weapons

Report: Troops Watched Al-Qaqaa Looting

Thu Nov 4, 9:55 AM ET addtomyyahoo3.gif Middle East - AP

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LOS ANGELES - [size=-1]Explosives were looted from the Al-Qaqaa ammunitions site in Iraq (news - web sites) while outnumbered U.S. soldiers assigned to guard the materials watched helplessly, soldiers told the Los Angeles Times. [/size]

thumb.ans10611041444.iraq__ans106.jpg AP Photo r3143205855.jpg Reuters cam.gifSlideshow: Iraq

postiraq_158x38.jpg Latest headlines: ·[size=-1]3 British Soldiers Killed in Iraq Attack [/size] AP - 1 minute ago ·[size=-1]Bush vows to finish job in Iraq, pursue agenda[/size] AFP - 6 minutes ago ·[size=-1]EU Leaders Consider Bigger Role in Iraq [/size] AP - 1 hour, 6 minutes ago Special Coverage [size=-1]

About a dozen U.S. troops were guarding the sprawling facility in the weeks after the April 2003 fall of Baghdad when Iraqi looters raided the site, the newspaper quoted a group of unidentified soldiers as saying. U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen witnessed the looting and some soldiers sent messages to commanders in Baghdad requesting help, but received no reply, they said.

"It was complete chaos. It was looting like L.A. during the Rodney King riots," one officer said.

The eyewitness accounts reported by the Times are the first provided by U.S. soldiers and bolster claims that the U.S. military had failed to safeguard the powerful explosives, the newspaper said.

Iraqi officials told the United Nations (news - web sites) International Atomic Energy Agency last month that about 380 tons of high-grade explosives, a type powerful enough to detonate a nuclear weapon, had been taken from the Al-Qaqaa facility.

Soldiers who belong to two different units described how Iraqis snatched explosives from unsecured bunkers and drove off with them in pickup trucks.

The soldiers who spoke to the Times asked to remain unidentified, saying they feared retaliation from the Pentagon (news - web sites).

The soldiers said they could not confirm that looters took the particularly powerful explosives known as HMX and RDX. One soldier, however, said U.S. forces saw looters load trucks with bags marked "hexamine," which is a key ingredient for HMX.

One senior noncommissioned officer said troops "were running from one side of the compound to the other side, trying to kick people out" and that at least 100 vehicles were at the site waiting for the military to leave so that they could loot the munitions.

The Pentagon has offered accounts that suggest the explosives were removed before the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and not during the chaos following the fall of Baghdad.

A Pentagon statement last week said the removal of the explosives would have required dozens of heavy trucks moving along the same roads as U.S. combat divisions.

The missing explosives became a campaign issue with Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) claiming it was further evidence of the Bush administration's poor handling of the war.

Four soldiers who are members of the Germany-based 317th Support Center and the 258th Rear Area Operations Center, an Arizona-based Army National Guard unit, said the looting happened over several weeks in late April and early May 2003.

Asked about the soldiers' accounts, Pentagon spokeswoman Rose-Ann Lynch told the newspaper: "We take the report of missing munitions very seriously. And we are looking into the facts and circumstances of this incident." [/size]

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[/size] I'm sure they had good reason, it might have been too dangerous. But come on, explosives are being taken away by the enemy and all you can do is watch? I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt. They might have tried to prevent civilian casualties as open-firing on huge explosives could prove very deadly. But somebody higher up really dropped the ball with this one......




Mast3rofPuppets VIP Member

08'aIgnorance is not an excuse

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28th November 2003

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#2 14 years ago

If You want stability in Iraq you need to deploy more soldiers, and fast. This is the consequence of Rumfelds hi-tech low-budget blitzkrieg.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#3 14 years ago

Why were the explosives there in the first place? If you take something you cannot hold then it must be destroyed. I'm at a loss as to why these explosives were not destroyed or used by the coalition.




Tekk9

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#4 14 years ago
GedWhy were the explosives there in the first place? If you take something you cannot hold then it must be destroyed. I'm at a loss as to why these explosives were not destroyed or used by the coalition.

Screw ups all over the place, I tell ya. And what's shocking is that it isn't the first time this has happened:

Iraqi officials told the United Nations (news - web sites) International Atomic Energy Agency last month that about 380 tons of high-grade explosives, a type powerful enough to detonate a nuclear weapon, had been taken from the Al-Qaqaa facility.



Mihail VIP Member

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19th January 2003

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#5 14 years ago

12 soldiers guarding 350 tons worth of weapons? but they have thousands watching those oil fields, haha.




NiteStryker

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#6 14 years ago

Yea thats very interesting...barely a squad for 350 tons of explosives....well I hope they were armed with the latest in spitwad and waterballon technology for weapons

Figures that the LA times would be spinnin left and right on everything wrong with Iraq.