Despite mounting outrage among Iraqi officials, Brigadier-General Peter Bayer insisted that American troops would “absolutely not” be made to appear in Iraqi courts for their role in the Sunday morning raid on the home of a Shi’ite family in Tikrit.
The raid led to the killing of two innocent civilians and the detention of several other members of the same family, including one who is a captain in the Iraqi police. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki condemned the raid as a crime and insisted that it violated the Status of Forces Agreement that requires the Iraqi government to give permission for any raids.
Brig. Gen. Bayer insisted that the raid was “lawful and legal,” saying it had been sanctioned by the Iraqi government and, incredibly enough, claiming that the target of the raid had an arrest warrant issued by an Iraqi judge. The previous report by US forces alleged that Ahmed Abdul Muneim al-Bdeir, the leader of a Shi’ite clan, was a “financier” involved in smuggling weapons into the country to support Iranian backed militias.
Perplexingly, Bdeir was released by US forces just hours later, having never been presented to the Iraqi court that allegedly had a warrant out for his arrest. The Iraqi government later confirmed what Bdeir said at the time of his release, that US forces had privately apologized for his capture.
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