Iraqi Citizens Finger the Bad Guys
Insurgents in Iraq, while apparently stepping up attacks against civilian, political, law-enforcement and military targets, have a new and formidable enemy to deal with: The Iraqi Civilian.
Most recently, after witnessing the downing of the Russian-made MI-8 helicopter last week, in which six American contractors, three Bulgarian crewmembers and two guards from Fiji were killed, a local Iraqi resident drove an hour from the crash site to a U.S. base to report the incident.
According to a USA Today article posted yesterday by reporter Jim Michaels, the American soldiers were not even aware of a crash having occurred and were somewhat skeptical of the witness' story. "The Iraqi, whose name is being withheld for his protection, finally convinced American soldiers of the truth of his story."
"Soldiers from the brigade located the wreckage and found two other witnesses who verified the story about a pickup leaving the wreckage scene. The Iraqis brought soldiers to a small compound of two homes. The pickup was in the driveway, and U.S. soldiers detained 10 men living there."
Upon searching the homes, U.S. forces seized large-caliber anti-aircraft ammunition, along with a crude diagram showing how to shoot down an aircraft."
"Col. David Bishop, commander of the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team conducting the sweeps, said U.S. forces detained the 10 suspects based on information from Iraqi witnesses."
Increasingly, Iraqi civilians are stepping forward to identify insurgent activity throughout Iraq, which can only be seen as a very positive development. It would seem that these once terrified people, so long under the ruthless thumb of Saddam Hussein, are beginning to stand up and take action for their beloved homeland.