2 US Soldiers Killed Near Syria; Major Battle at Samarra’ leaves 46 Guerrillas Dead
Guerrillas in the far west of Iraq, near the Syrian border, killed two US soldiers Sunday. That made 109 Coalition combat deaths for November.
Guerrillas also killed two Korean electricians and wounded two others in an ambush near Tikrit. They were helping restore Tikrit’s electrical grid. Near Balad, guerrillas killed a Colombian contractor.
US troops fought a big running battle against perpetrators of a large-scale ambush in the northern, largely Sunni city of Samarra. The guerillas wore the uniform of Saddam Fedayeen, attacking with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. The US forces replied with tanks, cannons and small arms, fighting throughout Samarra. They destroyed the three buildings used to launch the ambush, and killed 46 guerrillas and wounded 16. Soon after the battle, four guerrillas in a BMW fired at another US convoy near Samarra. US soldiers wounded all four, and more munitions were found in the car. This sophisticated operation was apparently intended to test the waters and see if the US had been softened up by previous attacks to the point where a large coordinated ambush, using dozens of men, could succeed. As they have found before when they tried this, the fascist Saddam Fedayeen were wiped out by the US troops when they fought in a concentrated fashion. They cannot mount more than a low-grade guerrilla operation against the US. Whenever they attempt anything big, they are devastated.
By the way, Christopher Hitchens has come out strongly against calling fascists like the Saddam Fedayeen “guerrillas.” I don’t understand his objection. In American English, the term simply refers to any group that fights irregular as opposed to regular war, and is morally neutral. Here is what Merriam-Webster says:
“Main Entry: 1guer·ril·la
Etymology: Spanish guerrilla, from diminutive of guerra war, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werra strife — more at WAR
: a person who engages in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage “
For more on Samarra’ see USA Today