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Shiite Militias Are Encouraging Children To Hurl Stones And

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(www.)"hosted.ap/dynamic/stories/I/IRAQ_FIGHTING_KIDS?SITE=NYTRO&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT"]Link[/url]Sep 19, 1:48 PM EDT

 

Young Children Fight U.S. Troops in Iraq

 

By ANTONIO CASTANEDA

Associated Press Writer

 

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Shiite militias are encouraging children - some as young as 6 or 7 - to hurl stones and gasoline bombs at U.S. convoys, hoping to lure American troops into ambushes or provoke them into shooting back, U.S. soldiers say.

 

Gangs of up to 100 children assemble in Sadr City, stronghold of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia, and in nearby neighborhoods, U.S. officers said in interviews this week.

 

American soldiers have seen young men, their faces covered by bandanas, talking with the children before the rock-throwing attacks begin - and sometimes handing out slingshots so the volleys will be more accurate, the troops said.

 

"It's like a militia operation. They'll mass rocks on the last or second-to-last vehicle" in a U.S. patrol, said Capt. Chris L'Heureux, 30, of Woonsocket, R.I. "There's no doubt in my mind that they're utilizing these kids in a deliberate, thought-out way."

 

 

Al-Sadr's followers insist they are not organizing attacks by children.

 

"Such behavior by Iraqi children is spontaneous and the natural reaction from innocent children who are witnessing horrible deeds committed by the occupation forces in Iraq," Ali al-Yassiri, an aide to al-Sadr, told The Associated Press.

 

Militants have used children before. Marines in the volatile city of Ramadi say Sunni Arab insurgents often send children to check out U.S. defenses or warn of approaching patrols. And israeli troops have long faced stone-throwing Palestinian kids.

 

But the increased use of children in the high-profile Baghdad battle poses a new challenge to American troops seeking to curb Iraqi militias. The tactic also shows the lengths to which militants will go in confronting U.S. troops in a high-stakes fight for control of the capital.

 

The incidents have seemed to increase since U.S. soldiers moved their security crackdown into Shiite neighborhoods surrounding eastern Baghdad's Sadr City. The U.S. crackdown in the capital is aimed at curbing the power of the Mahdi Army and other sectarian militias.

 

At one checkpoint, soldiers said hundreds of rocks rained down on their vehicles as they sealed off a neighborhood during a house-to-house search for weapons and militants.

 

U.S. officers believe the militias are trying to provoke American soldiers into firing on the children or chasing the soldiers into areas where snipers lie in wait.

 

"Right now the reason we're not (pursuing) is because it's a trap," 1st Lt. Bernard Gardner, 25, of Kinnear, Wyo., said as a group of children pelted his Stryker armored vehicle with rocks. "There's probably one or two snipers out there waiting for us to get in range."

 

The soldiers are also leery of firing even warning shots in return - worried that could enflame sectarian passions and turn Shiite civilians against the Americans. Part of the offensive's aim is to bolster public confidence in coalition and Iraqi forces.

 

"If we point a gun at a kid and they take a photo of it, they'll make a zillion flyers out of it," Gardner said. "That's why we have to be so delicate with the rock throwers."

 

He said just one bullet fired near a group of children would be "like the shot heard 'round the world."

 

Most children, even in traditionally hostile areas, typically approach U.S. troops to ask for water or candy, not to ambush them. Even as unruly gangs roamed the areas near Sadr City on one recent day, soldiers kept playing with curious children on tamer blocks nearby.

 

Army intelligence officers say they predicted before the offensive began this summer that militants in Baghdad would make use of children. As expected, the harassment started with small groups of youngsters throwing stones, then escalated into bigger groups of children hurling larger rocks and even pieces of cement blocks.

 

Attackers are becoming even more brazen: Children recently have begun hurling bottles of oil and even a homemade firebomb at U.S. vehicles, soldiers say.

 

One child recently jumped on a passing convoy and untied the straps on a load of supplies. Another young boy ran alongside a moving Stryker vehicle before throwing a rock at a soldier.

 

No serious injuries have been reported in the attacks by children, although one platoon commander was hit in the face with a rock.

 

Since firing back is considered out of the question, U.S. soldiers have resorted to other methods to control the children.

 

On a major road leading into Shaab, a Shiite neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, U.S. soldiers stopped all civilian vehicles and pedestrians to pressure adults into dispersing a group of children that were attacking American vehicles.

 

"If you can't control your kids, you can't use this road," yelled Sgt. 1st Class Eric Sheehan, 33, of Jennerstown, Pa. One pedestrian responded: "But they're not from this neighborhood."

 

Some adults eventually persuaded the children to leave - for at least a few hours.

 

"They're gone," Sheehan said. "For now."

 

Other Iraqi adults have been more helpful. After several rocks were thrown at passing U.S. vehicles in Shaab, soldiers followed one child home. When soldiers told his mother what had happened, she slapped her son across the face in front of them.

 

Soldiers are also using new tools, such as high-decibel speakers, to scare away children. Some youngsters scampered away this week as soon as a soldier pointed a hand-held speaker in their direction.

 

© 2006 The Associated Press.

 

 

Not exactly 'Parents Of The Year' material. Those Mahdi Army guys are real tough, letting babies fight for them.

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PropellerAds

I'm not sure what part of "Get out of Iraq; You are unwelcome here!" the U.S. administration is not understanding :D..

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I'm not sure what part of "Get out of Iraq; You are unwelcome here!" the U.S. administration is not understanding :D..

 

 

 

A lot still want the U.S. there. The Kurds, for one. They seem to be doing pretty good. So Hasib, you would send your six year old out into the streets with a Molotov ####tail ? Big man ! How funny would it be if we let Sadaam out to rule again and left ? I think you'd be singing a different tune.

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Whatever the case maybe, the Iraqis can handle their own situation. They dont need U.S. to come in and help out. In Iraq, the americans are widely regarded as unwanted and unwelcome. Whatever the case maybe, even if the sunnis and shias kill each other, it is not america's concern to go there and "help" out. They got rid of Saddam: good stuff, now leave the country!

 

The longer americans stick around in iraq the more body bags will be returning home. Not that I take joy in soldiers dying, I too was in the armed force once, but tell the U.S. administration to send some of their own politicians' children to serve in Iraq and Afganisthan and see what happens. The way I see it, america is afraid that if sunni-shia go at it, they will burn the whole country and along with the oil reserves and this is what they dont want.. I think thats why we are still in Iraq for this reason.

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If US forces left while sunnis and shias were killing each other, muslims would blame the US.

 

Theres no helping some ppl :D

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If US forces left while sunnis and shias were killing each other, muslims would blame the US.

 

Theres no helping some ppl :D

 

 

 

 

I suggest that the US records a message answering their detractors worldwide, broadcasts it everywhere, and agrees to leave Iraq, afghanistan, and whereever else. Total pullout. They also stop any foreign aid and even charities that send money from teh US to the Middle East, stop trading with that region entirely.

 

 

Then fortify the borders and sit back while the Middle East falls to crap in a flurry of infighting and chaos. They will still blame America, but hopefully by then America will stop listening and caring. Then they can fix their own garbage, and leave the civilized world alone.

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I'd much prefer the US went back to it's pre-WWII isolationist tendencies. If the US pulled all foreign aid, we'd never hear the end of it. The US is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't.

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but what you guys dont understand is that the USA is to be blamed for everything... the silly state has dug a massive grave for itself and it only gets deeper.... cue the patriots.....

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but what you guys dont understand is that the USA is to be blamed for everything...

 

 

.....and there you have it.

 

If this reflects the true feelings of the muslim world, then i can't see what America has to lose.

They should do EXACTLY what they want, when they want and how they want. They're gonna get blamed anyway!!

 

I'm not a religious man, but if there is a god up above, and he does listen to our prayers, i'm going straight down to the local church/mosque/temple and praying for the return of Saddam.

He knew how to treat his people. They need tough love, and the Americans just haven't quite got the stomach for the job.

America could do it's bit by arming the Great Saddam to his teeth (in return for the black gold) and giving him a list of the most troublesome towns and villages, just like the good ol' days!!

I'm sure Saddam would have those rape and torture cells up and running in days, and no doubt the menace of stone-throwing gangs of kids would beome history, very quickly.

Withdraw all western forces, media and NGO's. Then we can all sit back and watch the action live on Al-Jazeera.

 

There will obviously be mass casualties. They are already killing eachother at an average of 100 a day. Just imagine if all curfews and roadblocks were removed, the casualty figures would soar!!

We're not completely heartless here in the west. We would be prepared to send replacements, we have a surplus!

Those pampered, Uni-Grad, IT technician comic book-jihadists living in Buckinghamshire and the Home counties have been itching for a little action. We should not stand in their way, in fact we should encourage them to live the dream and fight on the frontlines. We should however send our Iraqi refugees to accompany our home-grown jihadists, for i doubt they could find sand in the desert without assistance.

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but what you guys dont understand is that the USA is to be blamed for everything... the silly state has dug a massive grave for itself and it only gets deeper.... cue the patriots.....

QQ

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sure, just like you lot kill kids in palestine, threaten to beat innocent iraqi's for no apparent reason... break into thier homes, even rape and kill thier families...

 

nice post mr fear of flying... shame is i cant see all these jihadis that you can....

 

did i say something wrong? why do you find it so hard to accept the failings of america? do they not do exactly what they want? all those caught abusing thier positions where only caught as other good soldiers had a heart and reported them, how many cover ups have been going on....?

 

of course america is going to get blamed, you dont need a phd to work that out...! who went in there in the first place! it wasnt the iraqi's who asked america to take control... saddam was a puppet and guess who's.... i dont even have to say do i....

 

talking about the good ol days, i hope you are aware as bush put it 'routine bombing' that was taking place in iraq, you must be aware of the near million children who died due to the un sanctions... if you really wanted to liberate iraq, why didnt you just take out saddam, sure the SAS couldve managed it, but no lets starve the country instead....!

 

as ive said america has dug a very big hole, its own grave and there is no easy way out....

 

and according to you there are surplus jihadis who happen to be it technicians... well make your mind up will ya, either where terrorists, jihadis, it blokes, uni grads

 

now regarding iraqi refugess.... they should all get a free home in the west, like for like, you destroyed thier home so its only fair if you compensate....

 

IDIOT!

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LOL....Shaimahmood and Pashton are representative of THE Attitude .

True spokespersons as it were .

 

Now anyone with any prmitive signs of an intellect ....please tell me what possiblre purpose is there to throwing stones at the soldiers ?

 

And children no less . Truly an indication of ignorant parents , and the constant and historical inculcation of hatred that drives the events in the region .

 

This is part of daily life and routine .

 

And everyone's surprised and outraged when hostilities breakout .

 

LOL....." It's 9 am , do you know where your children are " ?

 

"Yea , they're on the border throwing stones at the Americans/ israelis " [interchangeable ]

 

"Whew ! ..... for a minute there , I thought they may be in school learning ...to live like civilised human beings !

 

Well , the fruit dont fall too far from the tree ...do it ?

 

Did anyone notice the same thing going on at the israeli/Lebanese border ?

 

Is this a ...cultural thing ?

 

Oh , btw ...."brilliant response " Shaimahmood . Truly indicative of your mentality . Sadly,a common mentality .

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:D

 

We don't want any kaafirs to help us, we can get up on our feet with help of Allah (swt) so:

 

USA! JUST GET OUT!!!

 

Wa'ssalaam

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I hope Bush hears you , I'd just as soon never been there at all .

 

 

But that , doesn't justify what is going on ...Bush being wrong , doesn't justify , nor give cause for what muslims are doing to muslims in Iraq .

 

Although many believe it does , I do not .

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