“For more than 28 hours, CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon and photojournalist Brice Laine were with Iraqi special forces during their push into ISIS-held Mosul. It was a new phase of the liberation operation — switching from villages and open terrain to a dense city that a well-equipped ISIS is determined to defend.
Their convoy was leading the operation Friday when it came under attack multiple times.”
See Iraq: 28 hours of the battle in MosulThis story is about a textbook lesson in how not to invade a city. In WWII folks did not send in tanks without escort of infantry to invade cities or they died. The “PanzerFaust” would eat them alive. That German weapon was a shoulder-fired shaped-charge explosive that could take out tanks let alone lightly armoured personnel carriers. Infantry could just lay in wait, pop up, shoot and withdraw inflicting many more casualties and damage upon the armoured troops, just the opposite of what armour is supposed to do for an army. Iraq and Syria are awash with RPGs, a modern functional equivalent with better range and effectiveness. In a city, armour should be used to back up infantry so that the infantry can fight infantry instead of letting infantry murder armoured personnel carriers. Using the tactics of the desert in the city is foolishness.
I hope this action was a learning experience. The Iraqi army did fight but it was not very smart. Next time, they need to send in swarms of infantry followed closely with armour, mortars and machine-guns instead of offering up sacrifices. The enemy did a lot of damage with few resources and pinned an army that was supposedly well-equipped and armed. Arwa certainly learned a lesson. Fighting a war is not just a story but a gut-wrenching life or death experience and you have to be both good and lucky to survive. She was lucky this time.