ملجأ الحنان AL-Hanan orphanage

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الأحد، 4 أكتوبر، 2009

U.S., Iraqi Troops Rescue Malnourished Boys From Baghdad Orphanage

Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Richey cares for one of 24 starving boys in the back of an Iraqi army ambulance. Civic leaders escorted the abused and malnourished boys, found by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers in a Baghdad orphanage, to the Iskan Hospital for medical treatment. Photo by Lt. James Cook, USN American Forces Press ServiceBAGHDAD, June 20, 2007 – U.S. and Iraqi army forces found an orphanage housing 24 severely malnourished and abused boys in Baghdad’s Fajr neighborhood June 10, military officials reported today.The 24 boys, ranging in age from 3 to 15, were found naked in a darkened room without any windows. Many of the children were tied to their beds and were too weak to stand, officials said.In a nearby locked room, the soldiers discovered food and clothing that could have been used to aid the children. Three women claiming to be the caretakers, and two men -- the orphanage director and a guard -- were on the site when the soldiers arrived.The Iraqi soldiers notified members of the Fajr Neighborhood Advisory Council and escorted them to the orphanage to assist the boys. Paratroopers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, and a 492nd Civil Affairs Team also arrived at the orphanage with medics to treat the malnourished boys.“The council members were crying at the sight of the starving boys,” said Navy Lt. James Cook, a civil affairs officer. The neighborhood council arranged for three ambulances to take the boys to the Iskan Hospital for care.“We’re very grateful that this story unfolded the way that it did -- that none of these 24 boys lost their lives. This is a story of partnership, courageous action and compassion overcoming deplorable negligence,” said Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Multinational Division Baghdad’s deputy commanding general.“The role of the Iraqi soldiers and the community council was a key to this action being taken to save these young boys,” Brooks said. “We’re very fortunate to have the kind of soldiers we have who are willing to take action, even at personal risk, to save the lives of others. These soldiers in a literal and figurative sense are the best chance for Iraq, just as they were for these boys.”(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)Related Sites:Multinational Corps Iraq

Iraqi army soldiers, U.S. forces and civic leaders of the Fajr Neighborhood Advisory Council discuss a plan to ensure 24 abused and malnourished boys found in a Baghdad orphanage are cared for, as soldiers carry the children to the ambulances. Photo by Lt. James Cook, USN


BAGHDAD, Aug. 14, 2007
Honoring Those Who Saved Iraqi Orphans
U.S. And Iraqi Troops Are Recognized For Their Role In Rescuing 24 Iraqi Boys

By Michelle Singer

(CBS) It was a moment of shared recognition, as U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were honored for the part they played in saving 24 young Iraqi lives.The day they unexpectedly came upon a group of special needs boys as they lay dying in an Iraqi orphanage in June was reported by CBS News' chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. The story showed how the boys were tied up, naked and starving while those responsible kept piles of new clothing and food just down the hallway. There was only one boy that the soldiers weren't able to save: Saddam Ali Abbas succumbed to his wounds a few weeks later. In spite of that, an Iraqi government investigation that was presented to Parliament last month found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing; publicly, some officials accused the U.S. military and CBS News of exaggerating the condition of the emaciated boys. But Brigadier Gen. Fallah Hassan of the 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, whose men helped in the rescue, had no doubt."The pictures speak for themselves," he told Logan. "You can see the suffering of the boys. There's no way it can be denied."Were it not for the soldiers, more boys would have died, according to the Iraqi doctors who treated them."It was disappointing for me to see kids like that, in this kind of situation. I felt really bad," says U.S. Staff Sgt. Osman Koroma, Dagger Brigade, 2nd BCT. "I almost cried the first time I saw them."Koroma received his medal, but also a personal commendation from his commander for his actions that day.He says the award, which he dedicates to the children, means a lot to him.But none of these these special needs boys have ever been properly diagnosed, and there's still no special care for them. The good thing is that these boys are still much better off than they were before, but the depressing thing about coming back is being reminded that for them, this is as good as it gets.

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