Saturday, September 27, 2014

Facing Militants With Supplies Dwindling, Iraqi Soldiers Took to Phones

By KIRK SEMPLE, NYT
SEPT. 26, 2014

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi unit, bunkered in a village in Anbar Province, had held the militants at bay for four days. But running perilously low on ammunition, food and water, the soldiers finally took matters into their own hands.

They started making calls — to commanders, friends, members of Parliament, even a humanitarian aid organization.

“We told them we would be slaughtered if they did not provide us with ammunition,” said Cpl. Hussein Thamir, 24, a soldier in the regiment.

Even so, the chain of command never got supplies to them, and the soldiers said they had finally been forced to abandon their base and run: another rout of the Iraqi military by fighters of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

On Friday, the soldiers’ accounts of their battle this week exposed again some of the glaring weaknesses of the Iraqi Army, which has been struggling to counter the insurgents who have seized large stretches of western and northern Iraq this year.

(More here.)

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