WASHINGTON - U.S. rules of engagement permitted American military forces in Iraq to cross Iranian and Syrian borders in pursuit of terrorists, a published report said.
Citing a 2005 document posted on Wikileaks, a Web site that promotes posting of leaked information, The New York Times said U.S. forces were authorized to go into Iran and Syria to follow terrorists and former members of Saddam Hussein's government.
U.S. officials said the document appeared to be authentic, the newspaper said. It contained rules of engagement for the American division that was based in Baghdad and central Iraq in 2005.
Wikileaks says its "primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East," but the it alos wants to help reveal unethical behavior in ... governments and corporations" elsewhere.
In the past, the site has posted U.S. documents including the military manual for prison operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The U.S. military command in Baghdad Sunday declined to comment on whether the rules of engagement document was authentic, but a spokesman told the Times "the deliberate release of what Wikileaks believes to be a classified document is irresponsible and, if valid, could put U.S. military personnel at risk."
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