Unconfirmed reports circulating that the bodies of all three soldiers have been found
Soldier from the 3rd “Spearhead” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment conduct operations in the Triangle of Death. Click to view.
As the search for the three missing U.S. soldiers nears the end of its eleventh, ominous news emerges from Iraq that three bodies have been discovered that may be those of the missing soldiers. Earlier today, an Iraqi police source told the Western media that a body “wearing U.S. military-issued pants” was seen floating in the Euphrates River near Mussayab, about 22 miles south of Mahmudiyah. “Witnesses said the man looked ‘Western’ and had a tattoo on his left arm. He had gunshot wounds to the head and torso,” CNN reported. Major General Caldwell confirmed Iraqi police found the body of a man wearing portions of an Army uniform, and Multinational Forces Iraq is working to identify the body.
Voice of Iraq reported two additional bodies wearing U.S. uniforms have been found in Babil province, also near Mussayab. “They bore signs of torture,” according to the report posted at IraqSlogger. “The police handed the bodies to the U.S. army and cordoned off the area,” however there has been no confirmation from the U.S. military of the report at this time. In today’s briefing, Maj. Gen. Caldwell stated intelligence indicates that two soldiers are still believed to be alive.
The New York Times’ Damien Cave is embedded with U.S. and Iraqi forces in the Triangle of Death region, and reports that insurgents are now mining the fields and footpaths in an attempt to counter dismounted patrols that are avoiding mined roads in the search for the missing soldiers. U.S. and Iraq troops are taking casualties moving through the farms south of Baghdad. The Triangle of Death region in northern Babil is one of three regions in the Baghdad belts that are the focus of the Baghdad Security Plan, and the search for the U.S. soldiers has focused efforts in the region sooner than expected.
Al Qaeda in Iraq has yet to release a videotape or images of the captured soldiers, which, eleven days after the capture of the soldiers, is unusual. In the past, al Qaeda and allied Salafist groups quickly released video or other media to maximize the propaganda value of its operations. After Ansar al Sunnah killed 6 Marine snipers from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment operating in the Haditha region in the summer of 2005, the terror group issued a video purporting to display the assault, along with captured weapons, dogtags, gear and what is believed to be the body of one of the Marines.
May 12, 2007
Al Qaeda attackers said to be moving towards Fallujah
May 15, 2007
Coalition forces may have narrowed the search for the missing soldiers missing since last Saturday’s attack
May 16, 2007
Two high value targets detained
May 17, 2007
U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to scour the farming regions around Yusifiyah and Mahmudiyah in an effort to recover its 3 missing soldiers
May 19, 2007
Nine detained in involvement of kidnapped soldiers, General Petraeus says information exists that two of the soldiers are alive