Ambushed by jihadists wearing Iraqi army uniforms — thus highlighting once again the impossibility of distinguishing friend from foe in Iraq, and peaceful Muslim from jihadist.
From Reuters, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
BAGHDAD: Seven US soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter were attacked during a patrol in an Al Qaeda stronghold south of Baghdad yesterday. Five were killed and three are missing, the US military said.
The attack, one of the worst against American ground forces since a US-backed security crackdown began in Baghdad three months ago, took place near the town of Mahmudiya, in the same area where two US soldiers were abducted by Al Qaeda insurgents last year before their mutilated bodies were found.
US forces launched a search operation for the missing soldiers, using helicopters, unmanned drones and jets and setting up checkpoints in the area.
US spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver said it was not immediately clear if the Iraqi army translator was among the dead or missing.
“This morning at 4.44am in Iraq, a coalition force team of eight soldiers (seven Americans and an Iraqi army interpreter), were attacked 12 miles west of Mahmudiya. As a result of this attack, five soldiers were killed in action and three are currently missing,” a US military statement said.
Residents in Mahmudiya, an area of orchards and palm groves that is a bastion of Sunni Arab militants including Al Qaeda, said gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms had stopped a US patrol comprised of three Humvees at a fake checkpoint before attacking the soldiers, an Iraqi army source said.