Posted by lex on August 19th, 2007
A gripping read about the ongoing battle to keep al Qaeda out of Ramadi.
Stark and his men exchanged few words as their Humvees turned east, progressing with more difficulty along narrow and sometimes swampy trails as they neared the Nassar canal, looking for possible weapons smugglers using wooden boats. Just after 9:15 p.m., the heat was still sweltering, and the armor-clad soldiers were soaked with sweat.
About 200 yards from the canal, Stark’s Humvee crested a small dirt berm, and his driver, Spec. Kevin Gilbertson, saw something odd: two large semitrucks parked just to the left of the road ahead.
“I wonder what they’re doing?” Gilbertson called to Stark. Then they spotted a few men fleeing across the field to the south and accelerated toward the trucks.
Stark recalled that he turned and to his disbelief saw clustered behind the trucks — only a few feet away — at first 10, then 20, then as many as 70 heavily armed men.
“Traverse left, open fire!” he yelled instinctively to his gunner. Startled, Pfc. Sean Groves unleashed a rapid burst from his M240 machine gun.
Read the rest.