Hit man stalks U.S. soldiers in Iraq


July 12, 2003, 10:08 AM

Hit man stalks U.S. soldiers in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 11 (UPI) -- The commander of the Joint Coalition Task force in Iraq says a highly trained assassin is stalking U.S. soldiers in Baghdad.

General Ricardo Sanchez told an Australian newspaper about the hit man, who had been the subject of rumors on the streets of the capital for weeks.

"This is a very well-trained assassin who knows how to identify his target. He knows how and when to attack and when to escape. There is no doubt in my mind this is a professional," he said.

The Australian reported Friday that of the 65 American soldiers who have died since President George Bush declared a cessation of hostilities on May 1, 31 have been killed by hostile action and about half a dozen may have been killed by the assassin.

An average of about a dozen attacks a day are being launched on the U.S.-led occupation forces. Some 381 injuries have been suffered by coalition forces since formal hostilities ceased.

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El Tejon
July 12, 2003, 10:22 AM
A merc? From where?:confused:

Rumor mill is at full capacity I see.:scrutiny:

July 12, 2003, 10:31 AM
He/They are very likely local talent. Much of Iraqi politics was carried on through the assassination of rivals at home and dissidents abroad.

El Tejon
July 12, 2003, 10:41 AM
An Iraqi team of Werewolves running around causing havoc? Don't buy it--too clean and simple.

It smells of a convenient packaged story for the brass to feed the media. I may be too cynical. We shall see.

4v50 Gary
July 12, 2003, 10:50 AM
More snipers.

July 12, 2003, 11:18 AM
with, and start issuing once again, sidearms .

I can only tell you what I have gleaned from our infallible press, after reading a number of reports. There have been a number of these incidents where an indig just walked up close to a soldier, standing around somewhere waiting to buy a softdrink or whatever, and fired on the soldier at close range with a handgun. The soldier usually suffered head/neck wounds, which pretty clearly shows the intentions of the attacker- incapacitate, kill if possible, and flee before the alarm goes out.

Maybe the soldier had his rifle slung, if he was carrying a rifle at all.

The answer to problems like this hasn't changed just because we fought the majority of this war with technology. Surviving the war has now become a very personal issue for each soldier. This is much the same problem we will face here at home when the terrorists renew their efforts on US soil. Having a sidearm ready and being competent in its use has saved more than one soldier, cop or citizen from just such an attack for centuries.

Personal problem- personal solution. Despite all the efforts to downsize the battle rifle, thereby eliminating the need for pistols, it has not been accomplished. Isreal came closer than anyone with the Uzi.

Having a sidearm ready also gives you something to do beside stare at a jammed rifle while you and your buddies get clubbed down or bayonetted.

I don't really care what they issue at this point, but every soldier should be trained to competency with the handgun, and then either issued one or given the option of providing their own. The military is barely training to competency with the M-16; I have two kids, soon to be three, who were all taught to shoot and then entered the military. They were/are/will be Army or USAF. My prospective son-in-law has been in the AF for several years, but had never touched a pistol until I taught him how to use one three weeks ago. He was far from confortable with a rifle, either. The common denominator in what they have told me about their US military firearms training is this- they became more proficient at clearing jams than hitting anything, and training with the service pistol was not offered to them.

Damn shame. I guess the lessons of war have to be re-learned every time.

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