Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dragon scouts kill terrorists in Euphrates ambush

2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) PAO

AL-OWESAT, Iraq — Troops of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment “Golden Dragons,” set an ambush on a small island off the Euphrates River near al-Owesat, Iraq, July 21 to prevent anti-Iraqi forces from escaping across the river.
Two insurgents were killed in the ambush by the Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), out of Fort Drum, N.Y.
A raft came toward their position, but because of vegetation along the banks, the Soldiers could not be sure the people in the raft were insurgents. However, when the raft landed and the two men came toward the Soldiers’ position, one was wearing an explosive-laden suicide vest. The troops killed both men.
As the Soldiers prepared to leave the island, they came under heavy small-arms fire from two directions.
“The scouts were there to stop traffic across the river,” said Maj. Joel Smith, 2-14 operations officer, originally from Queensland, Australia. “They executed their mission perfectly. The terrorists came to the island thinking they were safe, and walked right up to the Soldiers’ position.
“The scouts were able to get out without incident. It’s a demonstration of the professionalism of our elements operating in small teams, doing what light infantry Soldiers do.”
Smith said that the mission had a twofold effect.
“First, it was very consistent with what we were expecting – that anti-Iraqi forces are using the river for transportation. Secondly, it will make the enemy think twice about hiding there. Their hiding places are shrinking rapidly as Coalition and Iraqi forces control the battlefield.”

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