- Published: Monday, 11 February 2008 15:40
May 31, 2005
Mosul, Northern Iraq
An American soldier told me today that he has been telling kids to stay away from his unit so they won’t be killed. This is harder, on all parties, than it might seem to anyone who hasn’t seen firsthand how much the kids here love the soldiers. The sound of heavily armored trucks rumbling through the streets has the same effect on these kids as the tinkling bells of the “ice cream man” back home. Imagine having to tell kids to run the other way when they hear the ice cream truck on a summer afternoon.
Recently, an insurgent hid behind a child in order to attack Americans. The tactic came as no surprise to the soldiers here. Terrorists routinely play wounded or feign their surrender in order to get close enough to launch an attack on Coalition or Iraqi Forces. In January I wrote about one bomber who grabbed the hand of a small child while she was playing on a sidewalk. Smiling, he walked with the child in hand, approaching some Iraqi police, and exploded. Americans standing close by were unharmed.
During the month of May in Mosul, there have been so many terrorist attacks killing women and children-often when no American or Iraqi Forces have been in the area-that they are barely news. It happened again on Saturday. This time by radio-controlled IED.
Soldiers from Deuce Four happened to stop three cars in the immediate vicinity where explosives were buried on the roadside, and while Americans searched those cars with women and children about, a terrorist clicked the radio switch, and slaughtered eight Iraqi civilians. Three of them children under the age of ten. Other children were wounded.
During the same attack, Deuce Four lost one much-loved and respected soldier who died at the scene. Eleven other soldiers were wounded. Tonight, over dinner, amid the sharing of memories of their friend, came the sad sharing of ways to make the kids stay away on future patrols.
One wonders if the terrorists bother to wait untill the funerals to climb on their cars and do their rifle-pumping victory dances.
And, the enemy posted the following today:
Multiple Martyrdom Operations West Of Mosul, More Than 40 Americans Killed, Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility
In The Name Of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Mercifull Allah!
Make our shots hit their intended targets and fasten our feet firmly to the ground.Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds. Final victory is on the side of the believers, and no aggression except on those who transgress all bounds. Peace and prayers be on the Imam of Mujahideen, our prophet, Muhammad, his family, and his companions. A lion from the Martyrdom Seekers Brigade, drove his explosive-laden vehicle on Saturday, 20 Rabie Al-Thani (May 28, 2005), towards an American camp, west of Mosul. He detonated his vehicle at the entrance to the first of several check points. The explosion killed all soldiers at that check point and left a hole in the wall, big enough for the second martyrdom operation. Your honored brother (the second martyr), drove a water truck into the camp through the hole that was caused by the first explosion, except that the truck was full of explosives instead of water. As he arrived inside the camp many cross worshippers came to welcome the brave water delivery driver, but at that very same moment, your brother pushed the buttons and more than 40 cross worshippers fell dead, and more than 80 were wounded, by the Grace of Allah.
Allahu Akbar…Allahu Akbar…Allahu Akbar
Glory is to Allah, His Messenger, and to the Mujahideen
This was not total enemy propaganda: These were real attacks. But here is the actual damage from the SIGACTs:
Total: 1 person killed, 19 wounded, no Americans hurt.