You can shoot this man if you think he's stealing...

#1
... Soldiers told:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...3.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/03/13/ixportal.html

Senior officers have condemned the Army's rules for opening fire in Iraq, claiming that they are too confusing and are to blame for an increasing number of soldiers facing murder charges.



Secret documents seen by The Telegraph reveal that soldiers are being forced to make complex split-second decisions before opening fire and face being charged with murder if they make mistakes.

The documents, which are marked "UK SECRET" and which form part of the Army's rules of engagement, show that it would be legal for a soldier to kill an unarmed Iraqi citizen who is suspected of stealing certain items or damaging coalition forces' property.

The rules of engagement are generally designed to encourage minimum force and soldiers are only allowed to open fire if they believe that their or other soldiers' lives are in immediate danger.

Due to the security situation in Iraq, however, the rules have been modified to allow soldiers to open fire on unarmed civilians if they believe them to be engaged in activities such as stealing oil or damaging Iraq's oil infrastructure.

Part of the 11-page document states: "The following property within Iraq or Iraqi territorial seas is pre-designated as requiring protection by the use of minimum force up to and including deadly force. It is considered that any loss or damage to such property would result in an immediate threat to human life: multinational division (south east) property (coalition force aircraft, vehicles, combat support equipment and combat service support equipment); structures essential for the maintenance of public order, health and hygiene; electricity generation and distribution facilities; sample transport containers used in weapons of mass destruction sampling operations; oil infrastructure."

One senior officer said: "This document effectively states that you can shoot someone who is trying to steal oil or military equipment or equipment from an electricity generating plant. But if a soldier did shoot someone dead for committing theft, they still might find themselves facing a murder charge.

"I can't think of any circumstances in the United Kingdom where either the police or soldiers would be allowed to shoot someone for theft, but according to these rules British soldiers in Iraq have that authority.

"Soldiers are being asked to make very difficult judgments in very stressful conditions and of course they are going to make mistakes. There is a growing concern that when genuine mistakes are being made soldiers are not getting the proper support from the chain of command."

All soldiers undertaking operational tours of duty in Iraq are briefed on the rules of engagement prior to deploying and are presented with a series of scenarios that illustrate the complexities of the decision-making process.

One scenario suggests what action a soldier might take if he is confronted by an insurgent in the process of throwing a hand grenade. Soldiers are then asked: "This Iraqi is about to throw the grenade - can you open fire? Can you open fire when he has thrown the grenade and has his back turned and he is running away; remember he may be going to get some more grenades? Can you open fire if he reappears 10 minutes later, but seems to be unarmed? Can you open fire if you see him three days later walking peacefully through the local town?"

One officer said: "The point of these scenarios is to make soldiers realise that conflict situations are rarely black and white and are usually extremely complex."

At least two soldiers have been charged with murder following shooting incidents in Iraq.

Trooper Kevin Williams, who served with the Royal Tank Regiment, was charged with murder after shooting dead an Iraqi man in August 2003. Initially, the soldier's commanding officer dismissed the charges on the advice of Army lawyers but he was charged with murder by the Metropolitan Police several months later after the case file was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

He is due to be tried at the Old Bailey later this year.

Last week The Telegraph revealed that a member of the Special Air Service has also been charged with murder following an operation in January last year in which an Iraqi man was shot dead. His case is being reviewed by the Army Prosecuting Authority and a formal announcement is expected to be made in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "We don't comment on our rules of engagement but soldiers in Iraq are given clear and precise orders from their platoon and company commanders as to when and when they can not open fire."
 
#2
Specially modified for Iraqi my arrse, I clearly remember being told in Bosnia that you could shoot civis for theft from a military establishment


Kind of puts the act of "Working them hard" into context
 
#3
From the original Telegraph article
The rules of engagement are generally designed to encourage minimum force and soldiers are only allowed to open fire if they believe that their or other soldiers' lives are in immediate danger.
This adherance by the military to the concept of minimum force caused problems in NI where the degree of force used by NI legal authorities in considering incidents wasreasonable force. One may do more that is considered reasonable than one may do that is minimum. This anomaly caused referral of military shooting incidents where it was unnecessary. Perhaps someone who knows can enlighten us as to the actual degree of force under Iraqi law (if, indeed, one such exists)
 
#4
On my last NI stint in 99 during the training phase at L&H we did a justification Shoot using motion pictures, it was great especially as they added an RMP to grill the shooters after wards tosee if it was in deed justifed, this was my 4th NI and it took that long to get something worthwhile


Question I have is do they do anything simlar for Telic ???? Or a one week round robin thing a la IFOR ?
 
#5
This is what really grips my sh1t.

When the blokes are under pressure, forced to make a split-second decision and then told that this decision may very well be scrutinised in a court of law for months on end, the only thing this is likely to achieve is that the split second decision will end up being hesitation? This is more likely to end up in more British service personnel not coming home, as they are too scared to defend themselves.

Bollox to them all. I would rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6. Remember Pte Lee Clegg? Only 1 of the rounds he fired was classed as an illegal shot, but they still hung him out to dry for it. Forensics eventually proved that by the time the last round left the barrel, it was physically impossible for Pte Clegg to have reacted to the fact that the vehicle had passed him and ceased firing. Yet he was still made an example to satisfy a larger (political?) need....

RANT OVER!

GR
 
#6
"When the blokes are under pressure, forced to make a split-second decision and then told that this decision may very well be scrutinised in a court of law for months on end, the only thing this is likely to achieve is that the split second decision will end up being hesitation? This is more likely to end up in more British service personnel not coming home, as they are too scared to defend themselves. "

I agree 100%. The man on the ground risking his neck needs to know that the system will back up up on an instant decision which risks his life or limbs.
CO's answer for troops training and TCH to answer for legal matters, both to accept responsibility for the man on the spot, after all They put him there.
john
 
#7
we had discussions about this throughout the tour .Most blokes came to the descion that they would fire if fired on or it appeared we were under threat ,but,we would probably get screwed anyway even if we kept to the white/yellow card rules .
Had one bloke saying we shouldnt fire from top cover as it isnt an aimed shot !
 
#8
woody said:
we had discussions about this throughout the tour .Most blokes came to the descion that they would fire if fired on or it appeared we were under threat ,but,we would probably get screwed anyway even if we kept to the white/yellow card rules .
Had one bloke saying we shouldnt fire from top cover as it isnt an aimed shot !
This is a comment tha has not been made you understand. If the soldier is allowed/induced to fully describe what was going through his mind immediately prior to firing, it will generally be that his actions were justified on the 'reasonable' use of force. One has to be aware that the legal eagles for family etc. will be trying to trip our blokes up. We found by experience that it would be unwise for shooter to say straight away that man had, say, a rifle. Lawyer would straight away ask 'what sort of rifle?' Squaddy would say either something definate or 'don't know' If he didn't know, how could he say it was a rifle? If he did claim to know he would be queried along lines of eagle eye at x metres in semi-darkness etc. Intention was to bring in error, doubt and confusion. It was only when suspect did something with the "long straight object" such as putting it to his shoulder that it 'might' become a rifle. We had blokes shot when running away - normally right out of order. However, shooter had been told by RUC who man was and he was known for decoying follow-ups and blowing a package as they ran after him round a corner. Coroner accepted it as OK shooting and no legal charges. The after-shooting statements around 70-72 had to be very very detailed and show the state of soldier's mind. Maybe that is why no soldiers went on trial during that period? I suspect that procedures have now changed.
 
#9
This document effectively states that you can shoot someone who is trying to steal oil or military equipment or equipment from an electricity generating plant
Let them eat oil :evil:
 

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