US Troops Called to Help Iraqis Fight Suicide Bombers
September 6, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)—Just days after the end of the official combat mission in Iraq, U.S. troops were needed to repel a bloody attack by suicide bombers at an army base in downtown Baghdad on Saturday. Air assistance was also provided by U.S. forces, including unmanned drones and helicopters. With the drawdown in U.S. forces to just 50,000, mainly tasked with an advisory role, insurgents have been stepping up their attacks on Iraqi forces.
As ChattahBox reported yesterday,” At least one suicide bomber blew himself up, igniting a mini-van packed with explosives at the main checkpoint to the Rusafa military command headquarters. Another four suicide bombers sprinted towards the base, but two were shot dead. To surviving bombers made it to a building on the base and started firing on Iraqi soldiers.”
The attack killed 18 people and wounded dozens more, none of them Americans.
As part of the exit deal made with Iraq, U.S. forces can’t engage in battle unless requested by Iraqi forces.
The LA Times received confirmation from military spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom, of the involvement of U.S. troops in defending the Rusafa military command headquarters from attack.
No Americans were among the casualties, said military spokesman Lt. Col. Eric Bloom. But U.S. soldiers did join in the fighting alongside Iraqis to repel the assailants, two of whom managed to enter the army compound.
“Soldiers living and working at Old MoD provided suppressive fire while IA [Iraqi army] soldiers located the two terrorists that entered the compound,” he said in an e-mail. The firefight lasted “a few minutes,” he said.
The Iraqi Freedom combat mission officially ended on August 31, with operation New Dawn in place, to advise and assist the Iraqi government in its transition to a functioning government. New Dawn is in for a bumpy ride.