April 12, 2005

Al Qaeda Attacks Marine Base in Iraq

This is the second large scale attack by terrorists in the past two weeks.

Over a week ago al Qaeda attacked Abu Ghraib prison and claimed success. However, as the video released by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group shows, the attack was an utter failure (imgages and link to video here).

Expect a video to be released in the next several days. Unless, of course, the cameraman was killed. We will post footage from the video as soon as it becomes available.

In other news, as reported here yesterday, an American contractor has been taken hostage in Iraq. Also, Playboy interviews Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Seattle Times:

Insurgents claiming to be linked to al-Qaida tried to overrun a U.S. Marine base on the Syrian border yesterday using gunmen, suicide car bombs and a firetruck loaded with explosives, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

U.S. officials described the assault as the second time in less than two weeks that foreign insurgents have employed new tactics of massing an organized military-style offensive rather than staging smaller-scale bombings and attacks.

Yesterday's raid was on Camp Gannon, a U.S. base at Husaybah, a few yards from the Syrian border near the Euphrates River. U.S. Cobra attack helicopters fired on the insurgents to repel simultaneous attacks by suicide bombers and armed fighters, officials said. A second car bomb exploded 15 minutes after the first assault, "at the same entrance, while the soldiers were busy rescuing the wounded," Iraqi army Capt. Saad Abdul Fattah said.

The U.S. military said three Marines were wounded and at least three bombers were killed. Witnesses and a hospital spokesman reported that 10 to 15 people were killed, including foreign and Iraqi insurgents.

Camp Gannon is an abandoned railway station that houses hundreds of Marines along a border long used by smugglers and other outlaws. Insurgents have operated openly in some towns along the border.

The suicide bombers, driving a firetruck, a pickup truck and one other vehicle, "attempted to breach the perimeter of Camp Gannon," the U.S. military said in a statement.

The bombs exploded prematurely, slightly damaging the camp defenses of concertina wire and barricades. A mosque and other surrounding buildings also sustained minor damage, the statement said.

Marines came under small-arms fire at the same time, the military said. A 25-year-old student who witnessed the attack said at least 40 Arab and Iraqi fighters took part in the assault.

Cobra attack helicopters fired on a vehicle carrying an unknown number of gunmen, destroying it, the military said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:45 AM | Comments |