Multi-National Division – Center PAO
MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq — Coalition and Iraqi troops secured the area after a car bomb detonation near the south Baghdad city of Mahmudiyah, Sunday.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division rendered aid to Iraqi local nationals after a car bomb detonated at a mechanic shop killing 17 Iraqis and injuring 26 others.
“Today was an evil attack and I as an Iraqi am very sad,” said Brig. Gen. Ali, the 4-6 IA commander. “However, the terrorists will not get away with this.”
The attack, which was coordinated just one day before the anniversary of Iraq’s liberation, was intended to disrupt the lives of the Iraqis.
Since the terrorist have seen us making so much progress they are trying to undermine what we have done by hurting their own people and discrediting our efforts,” said Lt. Col. Bob Morschauser, the 2-15 commander and native of Fairless Hills, Penn.
Within minutes of the detonation, U.S. and IA soldiers secured the site and rendered aid to the wounded.
“Today [the car bomb] was a disaster, but we were there helping our people … protecting them,” said Sgt. Mohammed Jouad Kazeen, a personal security detachment noncommissioned officer with the 4-6. “We will do what we can to oppress the terrorists and get them out of our country.”
During the incident a medic spoke of what it was like to treat the Iraqis.
“I really want to help the Iraqis and providing quality medical care is just one way that I feel I am contributing,” said Spc. James Buron, a medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2-15 and native of Phippsburg, Maine. “But the tough patients are children. Just a few weeks ago a child was changing the oil underneath a car when it exploded. We never found the child.”
Just steps away from where Buron was rendering medical aid an Iraqi child screamed in anguish. His father, brother and uncle were all killed from the detonation.
“It is very sad to see this,” said Abdali, an Iraqi local national. “We have not done anything to these people and yet they still hurt us. They are not human; they do not care about life.”
As Iraqi policemen, doctors and firefighters worked to clear the scene and render aid, Morschuaser spoke of what it was like to see the Iraqis helping their own.
“It is nice to see the progress here and seeing democracy beginning to bloom,” he said. “Just a few months ago the Iraqis could not even shop at the market, but now they are able to. We are headed in the right direction.”
With the progress the 2-15 and 4-6 IA soldiers have made, there leaves the terrorists little room for attacks.
“They are attacking the only areas where they can get to since we have taken so much away from them,” Morschauser said of the attack. “However, we cannot shut the entire city down to vehicular traffic.”
Morschauser went on to explain the security measures that have been implemented to stop the attacks.
“We spoke with the maintenance shop owners and told them to check any car that comes in for repairs,” he said. “Since they have nowhere else to attack, they are choosing these types of shops.”
Although the terrorists may have felt like they had a small victory from the attack, Ali disagrees.
“We will find these people who have done this and we will continue doing our jobs,” Ali said. “They are trying their best to stop progress, but they will not succeed.”
As Ali said those words, Morschauser agreed.
“We have been with the 4-6 IA for seven months now, and we have done everything together,” he commented. “We (Ali and my Soldiers) will continue to work as true partners to prevent attacks like this one.”
Although the 2-15 Soldiers are helping the IA stop the terrorists, the Iraqi people themselves are contributing to the effort.
“Iraqis have and will continue to give us tips of enemy activity in the area,” Morschauser commented. “They talk to us because they trust us. We have a different agenda than the terrorists.”
Just like the Americans, Marschauser commented, the Iraqis want a safe place to live and raise their families. This makes you feel terrible, he added, but also makes you realize how much we (the Americans) take for granted in our lives back in the states.”
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Multi-National Division – Center PAO