Acute Politics is back, after some long missions and another communication blackout.
The news is all abuzz with reports of killed and captured soldiers near Mahmudiyah. To be more precise, the attack occurred between Mahmudiyah and Amiriya. The area is mostly open desert, and the Sunni insurgency is strong there. Bill Roggio has written previously about the fight in the region, and my platoon recently conducted a long mission northwest of Amiriya.
The DOD press release on the attack reports 7 soldiers and an Iraqi Army interpreter were in a "static overwatch position" overnight, that they were "attacked by an IED" and an apparently unknown number of insurgents. Of the eight, five were killed at the scene, either in the engagement or shortly afterwards, while three were apparently captured and are listed as "duty status unknown".
A nearby coalition unit reported hearing an explosion at 0444, and attempted to make comms with the overwatching unit. They were unable to do so, and a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was dispatched to investigate. A Quick Reaction Force was sent to the scene when the UAV found two vehicles burning. QRF arrived at 0540 to find five dead and the other three missing.
No insurgent group has publicly claimed responsibility, and coalition forces are already scouring the area for the missing soldiers. The tribes of SAI (Sahawah al-Iraq, or "Iraqi Awakening"- formerly Anbar Awakening) have agreed to help in the search. If we find our missing boys, it will be a testament to the growing success in al-Anbar. The tribes have a native intel ability within their population that we simply cannot match. I hope it will help us bring them home.
In the meantime, my sympathies and prayers go out to the families- seven American, and one Iraqi. I'm sorry for your loss.