VBIED attack on 3-21 Stryker

Army Times reporter Matthew Cox describes attack

How’s this for a grabber to open your story:

I heard the two shots from a soldier’s M16 rifle, but I had no idea he was firing at a suicide car-bomber steering straight for us.


This happened at a new outpost recently established near the Syrian border to cut off the flow of men and weapons into Iraq. The soldiers have pretty much been under constant attack, which indicates that the route is important to the insurgents and terrorists. This particular unit had just apprehended some men digging a hole (with pick-axes, no less) for a roadside bomb.

It was about 4:30 p.m. when the soldier spotted the white Suburban taxi moving rapidly toward Ivezaj’s Stryker.

“I saw him coming fast,” recalled the 32-year-old infantryman. “I fired a warning shot, but he didn’t stop, so I engaged the vehicle.”

The soldier said he aimed at the driver and fired.

“I know I hit him because I saw the driver slump.

“Then it blew,” he said, describing what happened next. “It went black. The next thing I knew, I was I was at the bottom of the air guard hatch, my head started throbbing, and I just knew I had to get back in the hatch because I didn’t know if a second one was coming.”

Two more pics from Frontline Photos:


  1. Good story. We have tried for months to find out if the checkpoints are equiped with electronic explosive sniffers. Obviously one answer to this VBIED and IED problem is finding the supply caches that continue to manufacture the devices. It would appear that the Iraqi police and military occupation authoruities have a credability gap with the locals. If this was to happen in Denver or Los angeles, you’d have 20 phone calls in a heartbeat if Mohamand was seen walking from his garage with a RPG. In Bagdud, no one calls 911 for fear of reprisal?

  2. William, US forces are equipped with handheld explosive devices. Also, cities where US forces have operated produce dozens to hundreds of tips a day. However, this incident occured in Rawah, a Sunni town on the Syrian border where US forces haven’t been operating, and therefore haven’t established a rapport.