Forums / Strategies, Tactics & Training / American soldier kills 5 fellow GIs at Counseling Center in Bagdhad

5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:07 PM

samD

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This isn't good!

BAGHDAD – An American soldier opened fire at a counseling center on a military base Monday, killing five fellow soldiers before being taken into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.

Although it was unclear what prompted the shooting, the incident draws attention to the issue of combat stress and morale after six years of war as the mission of the 130,000-strong force transforms to one of training and mentoring the Iraqis.

Attacks on fellow soldiers, known as fraggings, were not uncommon during the Vietnam war but are believed to be rare in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A brief U.S. statement said the assailant was taken into custody following the 2 p.m. shooting at Camp Liberty, a sprawling U.S. base on the western edge of Baghdad near the city's international airport.

The statement said nobody else was hurt, but a senior defense official in Washington said three people were wounded. The names of the victims and shooter were not released.

President Barack Obama, who visited a base adjacent to Camp Liberty last month, was shocked by the "terrible tragedy," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Obama planned to discuss the shooting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

At the Pentagon, Gates said that "we're still in the process of gathering information on exactly what happened."

Pentagon officials said the shooting happened at a stress clinic, where troops can go for help with the stresses of combat or personal issues. It was unclear whether the gunman and his victims were workers at the clinic or were there for counseling. Soldiers routinely carry weapons on Camp Liberty and other bases, but they are supposed to be unloaded.

The U.S. military is coping with a growing number of stress cases among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan — many of whom are on their third or fourth combat tours. Some studies suggest that about 15 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq suffer from some sort of emotional problems.

With violence declining, many soldiers face new challenges trying to shift from fighting a war to supporting the Iraqis — tasks that often require skills in which they have not been trained.

Adding to the stress, there have been several incidents recently when men dressed as Iraqi soldiers have opened fire on American troops, including an attack in the northern city of Mosul on May 2 when two soldiers and the gunman were killed.

Separately, the military announced Monday that a U.S. soldier was killed a day earlier when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Basra province of southern Baghdad.

The death toll from the shooting at the counseling center was the highest for U.S. personnel in a single attack since April 10, when a suicide truck driver killed five American soldiers with a blast near a police headquarters in Mosul.

"Anytime we lose one of our own, it affects us all," U.S. spokesman Col. John Robinson said. "Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this terrible tragedy."

There have been several previous fragging incidents in the Iraq war.

• Last September, Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich, 39, of Minneapolis was detained after allegedly killing two members of his unit south of Baghdad. The case remains under investigation.

• In April 2005, Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar was sentenced to death for killing two officers in Kuwait just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

• In June 2005, an Army captain and lieutenant were killed when an anti-personnel mine detonated in the window of their room at the U.S. base in Tikrit. National Guard Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez was acquitted in the blast.

• Spc. Chris Rolan, an Army medic, was sentenced to 33 years in prison in 2007 for killing a fellow soldier after a night of heavy drinking in Iraq.

• In 2008, Army Cpl. Timothy Ayers was sentenced to two years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the fatal 2007 shooting of his platoon sergeant in Iraq.

In other violence Monday across Iraq, a car bombing in Kirkuk killed two people, including a 10-year-old boy, and wounded 10 others, police Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir said.

In Baghdad, a senior Iraqi traffic officer was assassinated on his way to work. It was the second attack on a high-ranking traffic police officer in the capital in as many days.

A car cut off Brig. Gen. Abdul-Hussein al-Kadhoumi as he drove through a central square in the capital and a second vehicle pulled up alongside and riddled him with bullets, police said, citing witnesses. Al-Kadhoumi was director of operations for the traffic authority.

The gunmen were armed with pistols equipped with silencers, the police added on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Incidents involving gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons, including silencers, have been on the rise since a string of high-profile robberies in April.

___

Associated Press Writers Pauline Jelinek in Washington and Ross Bynum in Savannah, Ga., contributed to this report.

5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:19 PM

runawaygun762

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Gen Sarhat is the Provincial Police chief for the Kirkuk/Tamim province. He's a crooked piece of shit.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:19 PM

scudrunnernrh

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Maybe you can answer this runaway, how on earth does someone get taken into custody when they do this to armed military personell? I would have thought they would be blown to little bitty bits. Same thing as that rag head soldier that threw grenades into his own people's tents, he go "arrested" too. I dont understand it.

We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. Gen. George S. Patton
5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:23 PM

runawaygun762

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I imagine he gave up

After shooting, I imagine he dropped his weapon, or maybe someone tackled him. We have our weapons on us in camp, with one magazine either on the weapon or on us, just in case. If he was in a building firing his rifle, it'd be just as easy and a lot faster to take him down than to try to lock and load your own. I know any time I was walking on camp after dark, I'd keep my mag out, but a round in the chamber, just in case.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:26 PM

scudrunnernrh

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makes sense, thats how we kept ours when we were in Kuwait, and true it would be faster to tackle than lock and load, but that doesnt excuse the fact that these fucks need to be dead. Sure you might get pissed off enough at one of your own to shoot their ass, but thats what the iraqi's are there for, take it out on them............... j/k

We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. Gen. George S. Patton
5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:40 PM

runawaygun762

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in the Army Times, but I didn't read the article. It is surprising how few instances of this stuff we have. The stress of trying to teach the Iraqis is very high. It's hard to know how much to teach them, as you want them to be effective in their country, but not be effective against us if we reinvade in the future, and they have the attention span of a retarded gnat on cocaine, so anything you teach them has to be retaught the next day. I spent about eight months of my last tour training IPs in the Rashad valley, about 30 miles south of Kirkuk, and at one point I submitted a Daily Status Report to my TOC saying training operations were effectively suspended while I gather intel on my own IPs, trying to determine which ones were insurgents. A conservative estimate is that 80 percent of them are at least sympathetic, if not actively involved, with the insurgency, to include the Police Chief. It's a difficult job, and the stress of watching for bad guys while watching the very police you're trying to train can get to you. I don't know if that's what this fuckhead did, he may have been some commo geek that never left the wire, but there are stressors beyond the normal ones you'd equate with combat.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 33 weeks ago, 5:29 PM

eagleseeker1957

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shocked

right obama shocked give me a damn break thats adamn lie an you all know it

5 years 32 weeks ago, 1:46 AM

runawaygun762

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This guy is a coward.

And his dad is trying to make him out to be a victim. Mental health care is better now than it has been in any of our previous wars. This guy killed five fellow American service members and I wish he were taken outside the wire, flex cuffed, and had a drawing of Jesus fucking Allah in the ass hung around his neck. Our society of victims where no one is responsible for the wrong they do is out of hand. I hope they bring back the hangman's noose just for this fuckhead. You want lack of mental health care? Audie Murphy, our nation's most decorated soldier, was a drug addict and child molestor after he got out of the army. You don't earn 22 awards for valor and heroism without seeing some fucked up shit. Did he get mental health treatment after each mission? No. What did he get to help him cope after the war? Discharge papers. "Thanks for serving, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out". There is no excuse for touching children, but for a Texas sharecropper's son to go to war, see the horrific things he had to have seen, and get out with no provision for coninued treatment, I can at least understand how he might go bananas. This fuckhead in Iraq wasn't getting adequate treatment? Well boo-fucking-hoo, faggot. News flash, bad things happen, if you can't hack it, get the fuck out. If life is too much to bear, kill yourself, not five other Americans.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 32 weeks ago, 2:23 AM

Lyle Hutchins 1

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I agree!!
cherokee65

Your sentance structure in Great!
And, no pun entended. Sir.

Lyle Hutchinson

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