first published on May 22, 2020 by Will
The footage is from 2006 and shows a rooftop engagement between Mahdi Militia (Sadr Army) and infantry soldiers of 4-23 In, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
From the submitter:
“We were super tired and almost back to our base on BIAP (Baghdad International Airport). We had spent the night before doing raids on target houses and arresting and questioning dudes, which led to phone intel, so we spent the whole next morning into early afternoon trying to catch cell phones in snap TCPs (traffic control points).
Just as we were entering BIAP to finally be done, we got a call that a platoon from one of our companies was pinned down in downtown Baghdad. So we had to turn around and act as QRF for them.
We couldn’t even get within three blocks of them before rifle rounds began impacting our stryker vehicles, and we decided it would be a really bad idea to drive our vehicles into the narrow streets between the tall buildings, so we dismounted and instantly came under heavy fire.
We sprinted into a garage type building with no roof and got accountability of everyone. We did a quick map check and decided that we would take over and hold a multiple story building less than a block away ( a building we couldn’t actually see but looked good on the map) , which would allow us to get intersecting lanes of fire with the pinned down platoon.
We were still under heavy fire, so the plan was to sprint from the garage one fire team at a time in 1 minute intervals to minimize exposure to enemy fire.
The PL and first squad went first and I was the squad leader of the next group. I told my guys to stay on me and to run as fast as possible. I said go and busted out of the garage and around the corner, but everything looked different than it did on the map. It wasn’t a T intersection but a 5 way intersection and I didn’t see the PL or the first squad. Rifle rounds were snapping past me constantly, and as I sprinted up the street I looked back and didn’t see my guys. They weren’t as fast as me.
I didn’t know which building to enter for sure but took a lucky guess and my buddy was waiting for me right inside. I finally saw my guys come around the corner and waved them into the building. It’s crazy to think that none of us were hit running up that street.
My squad and the other squad took turns alternately and quickly clearing each floor and took up firing positions. His squad on the top floor and mine on the roof.
We instantly started taking fire, and I could see how close the rounds were coming, because a satellite dish I was standing in front of instantly started looking like Swiss cheese. We got the feeling that the enemy was actually using it as an aiming reference, so we ripped it down.
Mahdi insurgents started sprinting across the street below us and firing up at us, and one of our brand new guys took a single shot and smoked a guy running laterally across the street. It was really impressive, and the insurgents then started making women and kids walk with them so they could relay messages. It was frustrating.
We ended up getting just as pinned down as the platoon were were trying to help, and several other platoons finally showed up and also came under fire.
At one point a 3 man enemy sniper team popped up on a roof about 150 meters from us and began shooting down at one of our other units. I told my buddy who also had an ACOG to confirm that they were carrying rifles. I told all my guys to watch as I took aim at the big fat guy with the rifle, thinking how awesome I’m gonna be when they watch me smoke this dude, but I shoot and the insurgents don’t react. WTH?!. Suddenly I figure out that I pulled a rookie move and shot the wall right in front of me, because my optic was cleared, but my muzzle wasn’t. I quickly took a follow up shot and the fat guy dropped and then they all disappeared, but instead of being the cool insurgent killer, I was the idiot that shot the wall first, and my buddies didn’t let me forget it.
Eventually, our entire Apache Company pushed dismounts and several stryker vehicles up the street directly below us and were able to retrieve the first pinned down platoon who were now almost entirely out of ammo and water.
This firefight was epic. Most of our firefights were usually in residential neighborhoods or chop shop districts, but this one was in downtown Baghdad covering multiple city blocks and several story buildings.