In This Cat-And-Mouse War, The Sniper Is King


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Drizzt
March 31, 2003, 04:53 PM
The Independent

March 31, 2003

LENGTH: 585 words

HEADLINE: THE IRAQ CONFLICT: IN THIS CAT-AND-MOUSE WAR, THE SNIPER IS KING

BYLINE: Gethin Chamberlain with the Black Watch, near Basra

BODY:


IT WAS the tank crew who spotted them first, four men in civilian clothing jumping out of the back of a pick-up truck carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in the heart of Zubayr.

Corporal Mark Harvey was the first of the snipers to react, dropping to his knee and fixing the man carrying the RPG in his sights, one shot, a moving target, the militia man dropping like a stone, dead before he hit the ground. A clean shot to the head.

The three others with him stopped in their tracks, grabbed the body of their fallen comrade and pulled him into the bushes by the roadside, then took off towards the nearby houses.

But in the Challenger tank, their every move was being watched. As they ran into what they thought was the safety of the rabbit warren of ramshackle buildings, the sniper teams' radios were guiding them in.

Moments earlier they had been sitting in the back of a Warrior armoured vehicle waiting to set out for what looked likely to be another day or more of waiting and watching, covering a small arc of land near the bridge, never relaxing as they waited for a target to appear.

Now they were running towards the houses, all thoughts of cover forgotten, racing headlong towards the doorway into which their quarry had vanished. In the lead was Corporal "Pedro" Laing, SA-80 rifle in hand. He reached the door and never paused, raising his boot and kicking hard against the woodwork, sending it flying open. An old man looked up startled, found himself grabbed roughly and thrown out of the doorway into the street, past Cpl Harvey and Lance Corporal Scott "Robbo" Robertson. Inside the building, a militaman, pulled the pin from his grenade and hurled it at Pedro's head. The corporal ducked, the grenade flying over his head, exploding in the street, shrapnel whizzing past his friends outside, fragments hitting Robbo at the top of his legs.

As Pedro got to his feet, he looked up to see that the man in front of him had grabbed his AK-47. Jumping up, he fired one shot at the man now standing in the doorway, killing him instantly.

Then Robbo and Pedro were in through the doorway, throwing grenades on the run, one, two, three, four, exploding in front of them, the tank outside pouring chain gun fire into the roof of the building. As the grenades went off, the pair opened up with their rifles, finishing off the militia men, killing everyone in their way.

They could have left it to the tank to smash the place to pieces but there were other houses next door.

For the snipers, it was a rare moment of hand-to-hand fighting, the closest they had been to an enemy they normally only saw through the telescopic sights bound in dusty rags fixed atop their rifles, the long muzzles masked by more scraps of cloth, the better to prevent the glint of metal which would give their position away.

Eight days of lying in the dirt, crouched on rooftops, waiting to pick off the militia men who slipped from building to building, emerging out of the dark to fire their RPGs then disappear back into the mass of houses that make up this troublesome town.

The snipers had feared they would play little part in the battles to be fought in an open desert war, but as the Iraqi soldiers threw away their uniforms and ran back into the towns and the militia men became the true enemy, they came into their own.

In this cat-and-mouse war, the sniper was king.

Eight days and 17 kills.

This is a pooled despatch from Gethin Chamberlain of The Scotsman'.

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Standing Wolf
March 31, 2003, 05:09 PM
The three others with him stopped in their tracks, grabbed the body of their fallen comrade and pulled him into the bushes by the roadside, then took off towards the nearby houses.

What kind of soldiers abandon their dead and wounded?

moa
March 31, 2003, 05:10 PM
Good show! Very recently I saw American troops in the TV news who appeared to be on top of a building and it looked to me one of them was carrying a .50 cal. rifle. Could not make out what it was exactly, but it appeared to have the distinctive Barrett flash suppressor.

El Tejon
March 31, 2003, 05:22 PM
One more pirate gone! Good show, old man.

DMK
March 31, 2003, 05:25 PM
Running in and kicking the door open John Wayne like doesn't sound too bright. That Iraqi could have just as easily pulled the pin and held that grenade taking Pedro with him to Allah.

CZ-75
March 31, 2003, 05:47 PM
I believe British snipers use an Accuracy Intl. rifle in .338 Lapua.

Moondancer
March 31, 2003, 06:12 PM
Wait a Minute!!!

I thought "Militia" only referred to State Militia, i.e. the National Guard! Isn't that what our press has been telling the U.S. sheeple for years???

Now what?

Jmurman
March 31, 2003, 06:25 PM
Excellent!....I think it is going to take that kind of guts and initiative to win this war.

Good show! and God Bless!

Yohan
March 31, 2003, 08:57 PM
I hope "Robby" has a fast recovery. I had a false perception that casulty would be close to nothing since I assumed superior military technology would reduce casulties to nothing, but I guess I've learned that even with the smart bombs and M1 Abrams, the soldiers are still putting their lives on the line.

Coronach
March 31, 2003, 09:07 PM
It will get "worse" once we get involved in house to house fighting. The advantages conferred by technology and, to a lesser degree, training tend to fade a little as you get up close and personal.

"Worse, " however, is relative. Things have been amazingly smooth thus far, and we'll continue to absolutely decimate them. But there will be losses.

Mike

El Tejon
March 31, 2003, 09:17 PM
Gee, Mike, I'm hoping for FAR more than 10% Iraqi losses. I hope for 100%!

swingset
April 1, 2003, 12:15 AM
The Brits are tough soldiers. We forget that even in their soft, socialist empire over across the pond, there are still plenty of good, decent young men who join up, train well and fight bravely.

I keep reading good reports of them in combat. Glad to have them as allies.

The Aussies, tho small in numbers, have always been tough soldiers. They're performing well too, so I read.

jhisaac1
April 1, 2003, 03:43 PM
>I believe British snipers use an Accuracy Intl. rifle in .338 Lapua.

I hope the Iraqi's don't get their hands on a supply of duct tape and trauma plates....

4v50 Gary
April 1, 2003, 07:35 PM
Well done!

nsf003
April 1, 2003, 08:43 PM
They better be some serious trauma plates to stop a 338 lapua.

nsf

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