Yesterday Kos front paged a piece called Progress in Iraq
which included a link to a WaPo article
of a horrific battle last Sunday/Monday near the Syrian border between Marines and insurgents:
Through Sunday night and into Monday morning, the foreign fighters battled on, their screaming voices gradually fading to just one. In the end, it took five Marine assaults, grenades, a tank firing bunker-busting artillery rounds, 500-pound bombs unleashed by an F/A-18 attack plane and a point-blank attack by a rocket launcher to quell them.
So I was very sad to see another WaPo article about the same unit called Demise of a Hard-fighting squad. The same squad that suffered dead and wounded in the previous engagement yesterday drove their Amtrac over an IED:
In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be.
Every member of the squad -- one of three that make up the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment -- had been killed or wounded, Marines here said. All told, the 1st Platoon -- which Hurley commands -- had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting force.
"They used to call it Lucky Lima," said Maj. Steve Lawson, commander of the company. "That turned around and bit us."
Wednesday was the fourth day of fighting in far western Iraq, as the U.S. military continued an assault that has sent more than 1,000 Marines down the ungoverned north bank of the Euphrates River in search of foreign fighters crossing the border from Syria. Of seven Marines killed so far in the operation, six came come from Lima Company's 1st Platoon.
Lima Company drew Marine reservists from across Ohio into the conflict in Iraq. Some were still too young to be bothered much by shaving, or even stubble.
Every so often I come across an article about Iraq that really gets to me, and the first of these two really did that because of the intensity of the combat, and because the reporter did a good job of relaying the horror and viciousness of war. So I found the follow up about the same group of Marines doubly so, because now there is a continuing narrative.
These days it seems the only news we can get from the war now is from the print media and from reporters embedded with the troops.