BAGHDAD – An Iraqi lawmaker accused a U.S. soldier of grabbing him by the throat and shoving him to the ground Tuesday after he parked his car in Baghdad’s Green Zone. Fattah al-Sheikh, an independent, said he had parked his car before a session of parliament when U.S. troops approached him and told him he didn’t have the right permit. He said a soldier then kicked his car, insulted him and grabbed him by the throat with both hands as others looked on, before tying his hands behind his back with white plastic cuffs and shoving him to the ground.
“I don’t speak English and so I said to the Iraqi translator with them, ‘Tell them that I am a member of parliament,’ and he replied, ‘To hell with you, we are Americans,”‘ Sheikh told parliament, fighting back tears as he recounted the story. The U.S. military said it was investigating the incident. “We are aware of the reported incident involving a member of Iraq’s Transitional National Assembly and we are investigating it at this time,” a military spokesman said. Sheikh said other members of parliament were present during the scuffle, which took place at one of the main entrances to the Green Zone, a fortified compound in central Baghdad that houses the parliament, the U.S. embassy and other buildings. (MORE)