Monday, May 03, 2004

On April 11, Scouts shot it out with 25 uniformed insurgents in a palm grove, killing or capturing them all.

On the way back to base, the Scouts encountered a bomb in the urban area just outside Victory North, “and we didn’t fire a shot. Who were we going to shoot? We just kept on truckin’.”

In rural areas outside Baghdad, Scouts typically engage insurgents laying ambushes, Smith said. They’re well-equipped, with fighting positions dug to American standards.

“They’re prepared to fight,” he said. “It’s in the execution where we seen these guys fail.” Though his Scouts are well-armed, trained and experienced, some of the forces they’ve tangled with had sufficient numbers and firepower to overwhelm them, Smith said.

“They had AKs, RPKs, RPGs. They could have [messed] us up,” he said. But most fled after firing a few stray shots, Smith said. Smith theorizes that many factors differentiate urban and rural warfare. Urban terrorists may be more resolute in that they’re closer to the people who finance attacks, he said. Insurgents operating in rural areas away from “the guys pulling the strings may find it easier to cut and run” than their counterparts on the streets of Abu Ghraib and Amariyah,” he said.

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