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[casi] Iraqi's To Be Sent To Guantanamo Bay



Targeted: killers out of uniform
By Peter Baker at Marine Combat Headquarters, Iraq, Tom Allard and agencies
April 1 2003
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/31/1048962706871.html

United States forces have begun rounding up Iraqi men in civilian clothes suspected of being 
involved with paramilitary squads attacking them in southern Iraq and may ship some to the 
notorious detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Coalition lawyers have put aside the original rules of engagement and are drafting new guidelines 
for front-line troops on when to take into custody Iraqi men - and possibly women. Among those 
already targeted are men in civilian clothes who appear to be well fed and are hanging around 
dangerous areas abandoned by other civilians.

The moves come amid reports that busloads of men from Arab countries are making the dangerous 
journey to Iraq to join the fight against the invading forces, including some prepared to join 
suicide squads. On Saturday, a suicide bomber in a taxi killed four US soldiers at a checkpoint 
outside the besieged central Iraqi town of Najaf.

Coalition forces are segregating from other military prisoners those suspects they believe are from 
militias or may be Saddam loyalists fighting in the fedayeen.

"Seeing young, healthy males in the middle of a firefight makes you wonder what they're doing 
there," one senior officer said.

Those detained would be treated as prisoners of war, but without official status, until hearings 
were held in Iraq under the Geneva Convention, officers say.

The hearings will determine whether they are released, held as POWs or declared illegal combatants. 
If labelled POWs they will be released at the end of the war.

Any found to have used civilians as shields or otherwise violated the international laws of war 
would be declared illegal combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay or other secure jails.

US commanders said their troops had already begun house-to-house searches for fedayeen 
paramilitaries or Ba'ath party militia in towns where troops have come under attack.

"We've already changed our tactics midstream," said Lieutenant-Colonel John Miranda, a member of 
Task Force Tarawa, the marine unit besieging Nasiriyah.

General Richard Myers, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the British experience learnt 
over three decades of urban warfare in Northern Ireland would be utilised.

In western Iraq, Australian SAS troops are helping to intercept hostile forces entering from Jordan 
and Syria.

Some Arab countries, worried about relations with the US, appear to want to stop their citizens 
travelling to Iraq, but Baghdad claims more than 4000 "willing martyrs" had already arrived.

"The mujahideen who have come to Iraq have come from all Arab countries, without exception," said 
the Iraqi military spokesman, Hazim al-Rawi.

Islamic Jihad's representative in Lebanon, Abu Imad al-Rifai, confirmed the movement of suicide 
bombers into Iraq from several Arab countries.

"The battle with the American occupation is open to all possibilities, and the cause of Iraq is an 
Arab and Muslim cause and we are a part of the Arab and Muslim nation," he said.

Since the start of fighting, supporters have been leaving the Syrian capital, Damascus, on buses 
organised and paid for by the Iraqi embassy.

Abdullah Ali Zawaida, 24, a tour guide from Wadi Rum in southern Jordan, said: "In this war America 
is wrong. They want oil, that is all.

"Iraq is in the right. If Iraq were in the wrong we wouldn't go. In the first Gulf War, when Iraq 
invaded Kuwait, we didn't go. I'm prepared to go and fight, and die."

The Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; The Telegraph, London; Reuters

Copyright   2003. The Sydney Morning Herald.

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