Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating the veracity of new photos of its members burning the bodies of Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.
A Marine spokesman Capt. Richard Ulsh and Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren confirmed the investigation of the 41 photos furnished last week by the entertainment news website TMZ, which published some of the pictures on Wednesday.
Two of the photos show a Marine pouring gasoline on the corpses of two possibly Iraqi insurgents. Another photo shows charred remains and one shows a Marine posing by a human skull believed to be from the burned corpses. The other photos were not published because they are too gruesome, according to TMZ.
The investigation will try to establish the circumstances depicted in the photos and to identify the Marines, whose faces were blurred in the photos. Any finding may lead to further investigation to determine if wrongdoing or war crime was committed.
Defiling of corpses is prohibited under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the U.S. Central Command’s General Order Number One or guidelines on the conduct of American troops serving in the Middle East.
In September, three of several Marines appearing on a January 2012 YouTube video urinating on corpses of Taliban militants pleaded guilty to other offenses while the one charged with desecrating a corpse was not punished because the military dropped the case against him.