Firefight on the border

Firefight on the Syrian Border:

Big news from the Syria-Iraq border. As usual, the Marines killed--either five or six, depending on the source--were slain in the surprise attacks that opened the battle. There's an hour-by-hour account of the battle through the link.

The attack was well designed, with a decoy bombing followed by small-arms and machine-gun fire to pin responding forces. When they called for reinforcments, those were met with a coordinated mortar assault from two dozen positions. It sounds as if the number of enemy KIA and captured will provide some good intel. Once they'd worked through their surprises, they were steadily eaten up by the Marines, with the final kill ratio being somewhere in the neighborhood of ten or twelve to one, again depending on the source. The captures, at least as important, were over twenty.

Just in case anybody reading this thinks the Marine are being heavyhanded, do take special note of these two paragraphs in the story:

At one point, many of the insurgents reportedly had gathered in a local mosque, and Marines were preparing to bomb the building. They pulled back the attack, however, when they couldn't not get positive identification of the occupants of the mosque....

"We're trying to get the snipers in position for a shot," Major George Schreffler told the other commanders through tactical radio communications. "They're looking at guys in blue uniforms and others with black clothes and black masks. Some are using children to shield themselves. We will not take shots in which we could possibly hit children."

With one hand tied... It continues to astonish me what these young men can do.

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