U.S. officials in Iraq says Wednesday's
gruesome attacks on four American civilians whose burned bodies were put on display
in the town of Fallujah will not go unpunished. The U.S. military is threatening
to deliver an overwhelming military response.
It's going to be deliberate, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming,
said U.S. General Mark Kimmitt. He told reporters in Baghdad that insurgents
in Fallujah should be prepared for U.S. forces to strike back following the killing
of four American contractors by a mob that dragged their charred bodies through
|US Army Brig.
Gen. Mark Kimmitt
"It will be at the time and the place of our choosing. We will hunt down
the criminals. We kill them or we will capture them," he said.
The White House blamed the attack on supporters of Saddam Hussein. Several
thousand U.S. Marines are stationed near Fallujah but General Kimmitt says
they deliberately did not to intervene in Wednesday's massacre, believing doing
so could have led to an ambush or the taking of human shields.
In the United States, photos of the gruesome murders were splashed across the
front-pages of the nation's major newspapers and graphic footage from Fallujah
was broadcast on television, prompting outrage from Americans and leading some
to express new doubts about the war.
"I think we should just say hey guys, you know we're done. Good luck, this
is your country, you wanted us out. It's yours," said one American.
Another said, "I was so in favor of us going to Iraq. But now that it looks
like it turned out to be a very dirty war the United States has not been able
to handle as well as I hoped it would, I have to say that I am not as much
for the war as I once was." Fallujah lies in the heart of the so-called Sunni
triangle, a stronghold of Saddam supporters where American troops have taken
part in a number of deadly shootouts with Iraqis since the fall of Baghdad
nearly a year ago.
The remains of the four Americans have now been turned over to the U.S. military.