Raid shows risks in new tactic to hunt al-Qaeda

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Red Shrek, Jan 15, 2008.

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  1. By Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON — When the two Army Rangers slipped inside the house of suspected assassins in the dark on Christmas morning in Mosul, they expected a fight. They got one.

    Two gunmen, using an 11-year-old boy as a shield, confronted the soldiers. One, a Ranger staff sergeant, shot them dead with his rifle. The boy was unharmed, according to an Army document that outlined the assault.

    That clash — recounted to USA TODAY by four of the Rangers involved and confirmed by the military command in Baghdad — kicked off what U.S. military officials say was a 17-hour firefight that resulted in the deaths of 10 al-Qaeda in Iraq insurgents, including the head of an assassination cell, a financier and a military leader. At least one fighter was from Saudi Arabia, according to the military account of the raid. Intelligence gleaned from the fight led to 10 follow-up operations, the Rangers' commander said.

    The Dec. 25 raid occurred in what military officials say has become the most dangerous part of Iraq — Mosul and surrounding areas, about 200 miles north of Baghdad. The assault was a preview of a U.S.-led campaign to root out insurgents in Mosul and Diyala province who have targeted those who cooperate with Americans. It was part of a broader operation that led to the combat deaths of nine U.S. soldiers last week in Diyala.
    Taken together, the episodes show that beyond the threat posed by insurgents' roadside bombs, U.S. troops still face tough fighting in Iraq.

  2. Long over due.