Iraq insurgents detonated a car bomb with two children still sitting in the back seat last week.
The children were used as decoys to get the car through a military checkpoint in Baghdad.
Speaking at a news briefing at the Pentagon, Maj. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, deputy director for regional operations at the Joint Staff, said American soldiers had stopped the car at the checkpoint but had allowed it to pass after seeing the two children in the back seat, according to The NY Times.
“Children in the back seat lower suspicion,” he said, according to a transcript.
“We let it move through. They parked the vehicle. The adults run out and detonate it with the children in back.”
A French news agency, quoting an unidentified American military official, said the bombers parked the vehicle across the street from a school then ran away, leaving the children inside.
The blast killed the children and three other innocent bystanders and wounded seven others, the official said.
The new American-led security plan has placed military checkpoints all over Baghdad.
These checkpoints search nearly every vehicle that goes through them for explosives and other suspicious materials, according to The NY Times.
It is not known whether the children in the car knew of their participation in this bombing.
There have been many documented cases of children actively participating in suicide bombings in Palestinian territories.
However, this seems to be a new tactic used in the Iraq War.
The enemy in Iraq has also added chlorine gas to its arsenal of weapons.
The gas, which is considered a weapon of mass destruction, was first introduced to warfare in the First World War.
It causes severe irritation of the eyes, throat and lungs, and also burns the skin on contact.
Lt. Col. McGibony (Ret), who is a professor of military science at John Carroll University said, “One of the challenges the U.S. military faces in today’s combat environment is that opposing forces do not follow conventional methods of fighting.”
“They also don’t adhere to international laws of warfare, such as those governed by the Geneva Convention.”
“The U.S. and other coalition military forces, on the other hand, are trained to follow the laws of war and to follow what are called ‘Rules of Engagement.’”
McGibony adds that, “The U.S. military adapts counter-terrorist measures to try and minimize the effectiveness of the insurgents’ fighting style.”
“The insurgents in turn try to develop new methods of surprise and terror, such as increasing the lethality of their IEDs or selecting higher profile target areas such as religious shrines or public markets.”
He went on to say, “In any case, the U.S. military has continually incorporated into its training the concept of ‘expecting the unexpected.’”
“While standard procedures have been developed for standard situations, military service personnel are constantly trained and tested to think creatively and to assume a position of leadership when needed.”
According to The Associated Press, more than 350 Iraqi civilians and six U.S. troops were treated for exposure to the gas in the Anbar Province in western Iraq.
Another suicide bombing, south of Fallujah caused 250 civilians to show signs of exposure, including seven children.