Iraq: March 26, 2004


For the last three days, marines have been patrolling into the center of the pro-Saddam Sunni Arab town of Fallujah. Each time, armed Iraqis would fire on the marines and hours of shooting would commence until the Iraqis retreated back into their civilian guises. The marines just took over the area from the army 82nd Airborne division. The army had decided to stay out of the center of Fallujah most of the time. But the marines decided to resume patrols there to test the Iraqi capabilities and to let the pro-Saddam locals know who they were dealing with. The marines have returned to Iraq with some different ideas on how to handle the Iraqi resistance. For one thing, the marines will put more emphasis on establishing close relationships with friendly Iraqis, and being more aggressive with hostile Iraqis. This is because the hostile Iraqis are directing most of their violence at Iraqis who support the new government or work for the coalition forces. So the marines are in downtown Fallujah every day, hunting down the bad guys and fighting terror with terror against those who shoot at them. Today's casualties in Fallujah were 13 dead (including one marine) and many more wounded. 


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