Iran’s state-owned Press TV this week aired interviews with men who say they’re relatives of the 16 civilians who were allegedly killed in Kandahar Province’s Panjwai District by Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.
The men in the video return to the argument that there were multiple soldiers involved in the March 11 incident.
“It was not one person who did this. Other U.S forces were guarding outside our homes during the shooting,” one of the men told Press TV.
Bales, formerly of Lake Tapps, is awaiting a court-martial at Lewis-McChord where he could face the death penalty. He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and he was serving on his fourth combat deployment. He is the only soldier charged with the killings.
Afghan leaders and U.S. officials have rejected assertions that multiple soldiers carried out the killings. Bales allegedly slipped out of the Special Forces outpost where he was serving and killed the Afghans in two separate villages.
Last month, I asked the Army Criminal Investigative Division if any other service members have been charged with crimes in connection with other misconduct related to the Bales case. For example, Bales has been accused of using steroids during his deployment. The Army CID declined to say whether any one has been charged with helping Bales obtain those drugs.