Friday, October 14, 2005

New Warriors Step Up

From today's Wash. Times comes a great story about Iraqi Army forces taking it to the terrorists.
BAQOUBA, Iraq -- Joint Iraqi and U.S. security forces foiled an attempt by terrorists to ambush a truck delivering ballots to the nearby city of Muqtadiya yesterday, one in a series of attacks ahead of tomorrow's vote on a permanent constitution.

A decoy convoy -- disguised to look like it was carrying ballots from the Iraqi Electoral Commission and heavily armed with Iraqi forces -- drew fire from terrorists hiding in a palm grove outside of Baqouba at midday.

Unknown to the enemy, three ordinary pickup trucks carrying the real ballots already were delivering the precious cargo to the city of Muqtadiya, an hour's drive away.

Thirty Iraqi soldiers, accompanied by a reporter-photographer for The Washington Times, were assigned to the dummy convoy. It was an all-Iraqi operation. No U.S. soldiers were present.

I love the pic. It shows these guys are getting better all the time at taking care of business (although the 'cover' should have been on the guy's head instead of the pavement).
"This mission is dangerous. Any civilian car moving between our cars should be seen as a threat," Lt. Hayder said before the mission got under way.

The attack began with the bone-jarring explosion of a roadside bomb followed by a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and rifle fire. Within seconds, Iraqi soldiers responded with a wall of automatic-weapons fire. The terrorists ran.

Later, U.S. Kiowa helicopters arrived to escort the convoy to Muqtadiya. Back at Forward Operating Base Normandy in Muqtadiya, which U.S. Army Task Force 1-30 shares with an Iraqi unit nicknamed "Tiger Battalion." Lt. Col. Roger Cloutier reflected on the day's events.

"These [Iraqi soldiers] are ordinary guys that rose to the occasion. In their lifetime, they have never experienced freedom, and now they're defending it with their lives," said Col. Cloutier, commander of the task force.
I think the elections are going to go well this weekend. I'm looking forward to lots of purple fingers Saturday afternoon, and lots of happy and proud military and police forces that have done a spectacular job of making the vote possible.