Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations in the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said adults in a vehicle with two children in the backseat were allowed through a Baghdad checkpoint on Sunday.
The adults then parked next to a market in the Adamiya area of Baghdad, abandoned the vehicle and detonated it with the children still inside, according to the general and another defense official.
“Children in the back seat, lower suspicion, we let it move through,” Barbero said. “They parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back.”
“The brutality and ruthless nature of this enemy hasn’t changed,” Barbero said.