Tacoma News Tribune:
The old man in robe and head scarf told the Stryker troops from Fort Lewis they must be lost.
“No, no, suspicious cars ever here,” the Iraqi said through an interpreter. “The whole country has not security, but in this neighborhood is security.”
Just a few minutes later Wednesday morning, the soldiers found a mortar round buried in the mud and dirt field behind the man’s Baghdad house.
The troops, from the 1st Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, kept looking. They hit the jackpot beneath the rusted skeleton of a bus.
A hole with 260 mortar rounds.
Many of the rounds were of the size favored for car bombs and improvised explosive devices. There are only about 3-4 million similar caches left in Iraq. (Murdoc’s estimate.)
But the 12-hour mission also reflected some of the frustration U.S. troops face in Iraq. Residents claimed ignorance of insurgent activity, and the soldiers couldn’t get enough evidence to detain anyone Wednesday.
One man in the neighborhood made it clear that he would be “slaughtered” if he dared to give information to the Americans.
Many of the locals just wanted the US troops to leave and were unmoved when the troops pointed out that they were trying to help. (via Stryker Brigade News)
UPDATE: I had originally wondered if this unit was actually the 4-23 INF from the 172nd SBCT. It apparently isn’t, and is really the 1-23 INF as identified in the article. The 1-23 INF is part of the 2nd Division’s 3rd Brigade, the first Stryker Brigade.