Iraqi mujahedin are using women and children as human shields against American soldiers. They do this, of course, because they know that the Americans are scrupulous about civillian casualties. And if one of their human shields does get hit, of course, then the Left can claim that the U.S. is ruthlessly and callously targeting civilians. From the New York Post, with thanks to Ted Robertson:
April 19, 2004 — Bloody fighting in Iraq over the weekend killed at least 10 U.S. soldiers, including five Marines slain in the first 90 minutes of a brutal battle with guerrillas on the Syrian border.
The most fierce fight erupted in the northern Iraqi town of Husaybah next to Syria, where several hundred rebels launched deadly assaults on Marines throughout Saturday with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, U.S. Army officials and witnesses said.
The guerrillas first lured Marines from their nearby base to the former Ba’ath Party headquarters in town by detonating a roadside bomb there, said one witness, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Ron Harris. The rebels then opened fire on the Marines.
For hours, the guerrillas then played cat-and-mouse with the soldiers by ducking in and out of empty buildings and strafing those Marines who followed them with gunfire.
The five fallen Marines all died when they were ambushed by Iraqis hiding inside what the soldiers had thought was an abandoned house, Harris said.
The U.S. forces eventually quashed the rebel insurrection hours later after calling in reinforcements.
Marine officials said the rebels were so desperate at one point during the fighting that they grabbed women and children to use as human shields around their gunners.
“We’re trying to get the snipers in position for a shot . . . [But] some are using children to shield themselves!” one commander could be heard warning other officers via radio, according to Harris.
“We will not take shots in which we could possibly hit children,” the commander said.
In addition to the dead Marines, at least nine more soldiers were wounded in the battle. Up to 30 guerrillas also were killed.