Leaked Army Karbala Report Shows Iraqi Police Collaborated in Ambush on US Troops

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USA Today has obtained the internal US Army investigation report on the ambush, kidnapping and killing of five US troops at a meeting with local officials in Karbala last January 20, and its findings are devastating.

A previously undisclosed Army investigation into an audacious January attack in Karbala that killed five U.S. soldiers concludes that Iraqi police working alongside American troops colluded with insurgents.

The assault on the night of Jan. 20 stunned U.S. officials with its planning and sophistication. …

The information is contained in an investigative file made available to USA TODAY and authenticated by the Army. …The investigation reveals several new details about the assault, including:

•Iraqi police suddenly vanished from the government compound before the shooting started.

•Attackers, evidently briefed on how U.S. forces would defend themselves, bottled up more than three dozen soldiers in a barracks and headquarters complex using a combination of smoke and fragment grenades and satchel charges to blow up Humvees.

•Gunmen knew exactly where to find and abduct U.S. officers.

•Iraqi vendors operating a PX and barbershop went home early.

•A back gate was left unlocked and unguarded.

It’s worth noting that Army officials disclosed none of this when Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a former White House aide, briefed the press this month. Bergner failed to mention that an internal Army investigation had found that the Iraqi police the US troops are supposed to be training and cooperating with played a direct role in the ambush.

Instead, Bergner blamed Iran. “The Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, helped plan and direct it with Iraqi militants, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman,” USA Today reports.”The Quds Force, he said, supplied Shiite militias with weapons and up to $3 million a month in aid.”

What would be Gen. Bergner’s motivation for neglecting to mention the key findings of the military’s own internal investigation of the attack?

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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