Up close and personal.
Michael Yon's reports make the war in Iraq come alive. Those of us who are not there have the luxury of debating about the pros and cons of the US being in the midst of what is essentially a civil war, but the troops who are there are more interested in staying alive and making sense of their piece of the puzzle.
Like all professionals who do their jobs well, whether politicians or baseball players, good warriors are a marvel to admire. According to this report, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are getting better by the day under the coaching and example of US soldiers and commanders.
We came into a large group of Iraqi police that had joined the fight. One of them was shot in the leg and his friends put him in a protected area. Needless to say, I also found that protected area. As an American medic started working on the wound, the policeman grimaced and held his leg. Iraqi men and children can be extreme camera hounds, so what happened next might not have surprised me, but even in retrospect it remains one of the strangest moments I experienced in Iraq.
I had not been shooting photos, but when the grimacing policeman noticed the camera hanging off my vest he smiled. A smiling-for-the-camera smile. Shot in the leg, and taking a moment to pose. I was not fast enough with the shutter and I only got him as he lay back. But he did get me to start taking photos again.
The report is fairly long, but there are dramatic pictures and the reading is fast and gripping. Don't go there until you have a few minutes to sit and read uninterrupted.
Link to Battle for Mosul IV.