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    12 May 2005

    When insurgents fight back

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    Despite the wishes of the SCLM, our soldier face challenges in Iraq that are unable to be captured in words. The war is on and it won't get any better. The number of fighters trained at camps in Afghanistan and elsewhere from the 80s to 9-11-01 number in the thousands, if not more.
    The explosion enveloped the armored vehicle in flames, sending orange balls of fire bubbling above the trees along the Euphrates River near the Syrian border.

    Marines in surrounding vehicles threw open their hatches and took off running across the plowed fields, toward the already blackening metal of the destroyed vehicle. Shouting, they pulled to safety those they could, as the flames ignited the bullets, mortar rounds, flares and grenades inside, rocketing them into the sky and across pastures.
    ...
    Among the four Marines killed and 10 wounded when an explosive device erupted under their Amtrac on Wednesday were the last battle-ready members of a squad that four days earlier had battled foreign fighters holed up in a house in the town of Ubaydi. In that fight, two squad members were killed and five were wounded.

    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.

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