Monday, April 16, 2007

Perspective: U.S. Bolstering Force in Deadly Diyala

Soldiers of Company A, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis, Washington move through the rain last week during a 're-supply run' to a Stryker vehicle in Baqubah, capital of Diyala province.

BAQUBAH, Iraq, April 15 -- The first thing Spec. Edward Lyall heard was the thin, high pop of the AK-47.

From the gunner hatch of the Stryker combat vehicle, he saw the muzzle flashes from a shed on the roof of a brown brick building across a canal. With bullets hissing over his head, he fired his machine gun back at the house until a bolt popped out of the gun's handle and wedged into a crack in the floor.

"I need a weapon!" he screamed, his face red and his hands shaking.

The gunners in three other Strykers took up the barrage, until a thunderous bomb sent up a plume of dust and smoke around the convoy. After four minutes and nearly 2,000 rounds, the attack abruptly stopped and the American soldiers drove back to their base unharmed.

The back hatch opened and Lyall scooped up used shell casings.

"Welcome to Baqubah," he said.

Read the rest at the Washignton Post