Thursday, July 19, 2007

Perspective: Death on the Euphrates

Above: Alex Jimenez, left, and Byron Fouty, front center are still missing following the May 12th attack which left 5 dead. Joseph Anzack, who was also taken by the ambushers, was later found slain. On June 4th, a video showing the ID cards and claiming that Fouty and Jimenez had been executed and buried was posted on the internet. Ten days later their IDs were found in a raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Samarra.

On the night of May 9, an insurgent leader gathered recruits at a farmhouse in this lush agricultural region along the Euphrates River. He handed out weapons and then, after midnight, led his followers to a road on which two U.S. Humvees sat guard.

As the insurgents, moving on foot, neared the Humvees, they heard the engines running. They retreated into the thick foliage lining the road, apparently thinking the troops were on a heightened state of alert.

Two nights later they returned. This time, the Humvees were silent. The insurgents struck.

Read the rest at the LA Times