When the U.S. Army unexpectedly withdrew most of its troops from this central Iraq town full of Saddam Hussein loyalists, guerrillas firing machine guns, mortars and grenades overran abandoned U.S. bases, leaving a shaken Iraqi civil defense chief pleading for the Americans' return.
"We cannot handle this on our own," Capt. Ihsan Aziz told The Associated Press after the weekend pullout of U.S. troops.
The redeployment of American troops to a garrison about six miles north of Samara may be a harbinger of things to come in Iraq as the U.S.-led coalition moves to turn over security and more authority to Iraqis inside cities and towns, despite worries by some residents that they're ill-prepared to handle insurgents.
Unexpectedly? Isn't that cut-and-run?