United States troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents who used car bombs and rocket-propelled grenades to try to overrun an American combat outpost in Mosul on Wednesday afternoon, the American military said. It was the fiercest fighting the restive northern city has seen in weeks.This is the kind of attack that proves the enemy does not have the capacity to make a militarily significant attack. Every attempt to "mass" forces for such attacks has resulted in the enemy forces being destroyed. The enemy just does not have the ability or resources to do anything beyond commit suicide. History has shown that suicide is for losers.
Fifteen American soldiers were wounded, military officials said.
The attack began about 3:45 p.m., when insurgents armed with a car bomb tried to blow down the concrete barriers of the combat outpost, which is manned by a small force of soldiers. An armored military vehicle then sped to the outpost.
The armored vehicle "found itself pretty much in the middle" of a improvised car and roadside bombs that had been set up to attack any American vehicles coming to the aid of the outpost, said Lt. Col. Paul Hastings, a military spokesman in Mosul, using military acronyms for improvised roadside bombs and car bombs. The armored vehicle, he said, fired its .50-caliber machine gun to explode or disable the bombs, and proceeded to the outpost.
There, the American troops were attacked by a coordinated force of about 50 insurgents who fired rocket-propelled grenades and semiautomatic weapons. At that point, two F-18 and two F-14 military jets swooped down on strafing runs and also fired Maverick missiles, wiping out much of the insurgent force. "That's when the close-air support came in and did a job on them," Colonel Hastings said.
A top insurgent commander in Mosul was captured last week, Iraqi government officials said on Wednesday.
The commander, Abu Marwan, a 33-year-old member of the Mosul terrorist group Abu Talha, which is affiliated with Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was seized on Dec. 23 based on tips from Iraqi citizens, they said.
The Iraqi government described Mr. Marwan as a "key al-Zarqawi operative" who was "responsible for conducting and commanding terrorist operations in Mosul, purchasing weapons for Talha's terrorist group, and coordinating the training of terrorist cells within the Abu Talha terrorist group."