The Pentagon is investigating graphic photos depicting U.S. Marines burning the bodies of dead Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004 after some of the bloodiest battles of the war.
According to Fox News, the Pentagon started the investigation after TMZ obtained and published the graphic photos (Warning: graphic content) that were allegedly taken in Fallujah in 2004. TMZ said it obtained 41 photos but only published eight of them.
“We are currently investigating the veracity of the photos, circumstances involved, and if possible, the identities of the service members involved,” Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan said. “The findings from this investigation will determine whether we are able to move forward with any investigation into possible wrongdoing.”
The photos show a Marine “pouring gasoline on the dead bodies of slain Iraqi insurgents, while another shows a Marine posing next to a charred skull.” As Fox News notes, “If authentic, the photos show service members violating the military code that requires them to handle the remains of fallen Muslim insurgents in strict accordance with Islamic custom.”
U.S. troops seized Fallujah from insurgents in 2004 after two battles in what were some of the bloodiest conflicts of the Iraq War. Al-Qaeda insurgents took back the city this month, raising their flag above the city in Western Iraq.