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Monday, November 22, 2004

soldier with the U.S. Army's Stryker

An Iraqi Army soldier (R) takes a taste of snuff from a soldier with the U.S. Army's Stryker Brigade at a military base in Mosul, November 22, 2004. The bodies of three men killed by insurgents were found on a street in Mosul, Iraq third largest city, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad on Sunday, a day after U.S. troops in the city discovered the bodies of nine Iraqi soldiers who had been shot in the head. REUTERS/Bob Strong

Yahoo! News - World Photos - Reuters
Iraq War News
Troops may face new Iraq task: "British troops in Iraq could again be deployed outside the Basra area to help US forces if the rebel threat escalates, the Army's most senior officer has indicated."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

U.S. seeks accord on Iraqi sovereignty: "Secretary of State Colin Powell is scheduled to arrive here today for a summit he hopes will spur more international support for the interim Iraqi government and elections planned for Jan. 30. ("

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Mideast quartet to meet Tuesday at Iraq conference: "The Middle East diplomatic quartet is to meet on the sidelines of the international conference on Iraq being held in Egypt, a Western diplomat said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Former Mosul Police Chief Arrested (AP): "AP - The former police chief of Mosul has been arrested for allegedly allowing insurgents to take over police stations during an uprising in the northern city, a senior official said Monday."

In Yahoo! News: Iraq

Gunmen assassinate Sunni cleric in Mosul: "Gunmen assassinated a Sunni cleric in northern Mosul on Monday, hospital officials said."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Senior Insurgent Leader Captured: "

From Reuters via The Australian :

US Marines had detained what they believe is a senior commander in the Sunni Muslim insurgency in Iraq’s western Anbar province, the US military said today.

Marines detained six suspected guerillas yesterday in Haqlaniya in Anbar, a province which includes the insurgent strongholds of Fallujah and Ramadi, a military statement said.

“One of the six detainees is believed to be a high-ranking cell leader of anti-Iraqi forces operating in and around the Al Anbar province,” it added, giving no further details.


In Command Post: Irak

NYT With the Marines at Fallujah: "

From the New York Times :

For a correspondent who has covered a half dozen armed conflicts, including the war in Iraq since its start in March 2003, the fighting seen while traveling with a frontline unit in Falluja was a qualitatively different experience, a leap into a different kind of battle.
On one particularly grim night, a group of marines from Bravo Company’s First Platoon turned a corner in the darkness and headed up an alley. As they did so, they came across men dressed in uniforms worn by the Iraqi National Guard. The uniforms were so perfect that they even carried pieces of red tape and white, the signal agreed upon to assure American soldiers that any Iraqis dressed that way would be friendly; the others could be killed.

The marines, spotting the red and white tape, waved, and the men in Iraqi uniforms opened fire. One American, Corporal Anderson, died instantly. One of the wounded men, Pfc. Andrew Russell, lay in the road, screaming from a nearly severed leg.

A group of marines ran forward into the gunfire to pull their comrades out. But the ambush, and the enemy flares and gunfire that followed, rattled the men of Bravo Company more than any event. In the darkness, the men began to argue. Others stood around in the road. As the platoon’s leader, Lt. Andy Eckert, struggled to take charge, the Third Platoon seemed on the brink of panic.

“Everybody was scared,” Lieutenant Eckert said afterward. “If the leader can’t hold, then the unit can’t hold together.”

The unit did hold, but only after the intervention of Bravo Company’s commanding officer, Capt. Read Omohundro.

Time and again through the week, Captain Omohundro kept his men from folding, if not by his resolute manner then by his calmness under fire. In the first 16 hours of battle, when the combat was continuous and the threat of death ever present, Captain Omohundro never flinched, moving his men through the warrens and back alleys of Falluja with an uncanny sense of space and time, sensing the enemy, sensing the location of his men, even in the darkness, entirely self-possessed.

“Damn it, get moving,” Captain Omohundro said, and his men, looking relieved that they had been given direction amid the anarchy, were only too happy to oblige.

A little later, Captain Omohundro, a 34-year-old Texan, allowed that the strain of the battle had weighed on him, but he said that he had long ago trained himself to keep any self-doubt hidden from view.

“It’s not like I don’t feel it,” Captain Omohundro said. “But if I were to show it, the whole thing would come apart.”

For Expert Opinion on how the US Marine Corps “re-wrote the book” on MOUT (Miliatary Operations in Urban Terrain) see these articles in the Post-Gazette,


In Command Post: Irak

British general says troops could stay in Iraq beyond 2005: "British troops will be sent to help US forces in combat zones anywhere inside Iraq and could remain in the country beyond 2005, Britain's army commander said. (AFP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Israel says it will do 'everything in its power' to ensure Palestinian vote in Iraq & Terror

COVERAGE RUNDOWN 4 am in Iraq & Terror