After an IED attack killed five members of 2nd Platoon Charlie 1-26 in northeast Baghdad, members of the unit gathered and determined that they could no longer function professionally. Several soldiers feared that their anger and want for revenge would result in a massacre of innocent civilians, and thus decided to stage a revolt against the orders of their commanders.
Charlie 1-26 was the hardest hit unit in Iraq so far, losing 14 soldiers in 12 months. Kelly Kennedy of the Army Times, who was embedded with Charlie Company, recalled the hostility the unit had towards Iraqis living under US occupation:
When the IED, the roadside bomb, went off, it was so close to one of the Iraqi police stations that they should have been able to see somebody burying that. It was right in front of somebody’s house, and nobody said anything. Nobody said to these guys, “Listen, there’s a bomb here. We’re worried about you,” even though they had been going out and patrolling and doing what they were supposed to be doing, in their minds. So when that IED went off and killed their five friends, they’re in–you have to understand, they’ve been living together for a year like brothers in the basement of this old palace. And it’s–they’re right on top of each other and going out and taking care of each other on the battlefield, daily firefights. And so, they’re closer probably than anyone could be. And when they lost their five men, they–I think they gave up on the Iraqi people.
If the Iraqi people weren’t willing to fight for them, then what was the point? And they were so angry. They just wanted to go out and take out the whole city. They didn’t understand why they couldn’t finish up what they call the war, and the whole idea of counterinsurgency is that you’re supposed to be building relationships, but they’re trying to build relationships with people who obviously aren’t that concerned about them. So this idea of a massacre was just–they were just so angry, they could barely contain it anymore.