Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | April 13, 2003

POW's rescued by Marines, Tikrit falls

US rescues soldiers held by Iraq

US forces have rescued seven US soldiers who were being held by Iraqis, American commander General Tommy Franks says.

He said he had been reluctant to release the information because he was unsure whether they were among those listed as missing or as POWs.

"I know that they are in good shape," he said on US television.

They were found by marines pushing north from Baghdad.

General Franks said he did not know if any women were among the group.

And he said it was unclear at the moment where they came from - whether they were from the crews of Apache helicopters that came down, or survivors of an ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company.

A US military official at a trauma treatment unit in Baghdad, Lieutenant Colonel Ken Kelly, told the French news agency AFP that six soldiers would be arriving there shortly.

Gunshot wounds

"Apparently, they are in such a condition that they are being brought to a forward critical care unit for evaluation," he said.

The Washington Post reports that all the soldiers were in good condition, although two had suffered gunshot wounds.

This is excellent news. The Marines, who train for a variety of missions, including special operations, were able to save the POW's. They were very lucky that they remained in what remained of the Iraqi government's hands and no one got the bright idea to sell them off to Osama or something. Their families can breathe easier now that they'll be getting medical care and then sent home. The Marines have shown an increased capability to perform all manner of wartime functions with efficiency.

Also, Saddam's hometown Tikrit has fallen to US forces, with locals pointing the way. The idea of a conventional last stand was a nice media story, but made little sense, since unconventional warfare worked so much better. Why stand toe to toe with the US, which the Iraqis really didn't do, when you can hang back and create disorder. If you're smart, maybe the Americans will give you permission to form a militia to patrol the town and even pay you. One cannot contest the big battalions of the US. However, the battle for who runs Iraq has just started. The one for you don't need a tank for.

Steve Gilliard

Posted April 13, 2003 06:09 AM | Comments (34)


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