In Pictures: Sons of Iraq members turn over anti-aircraft weapons


Click Image to view slideshow of the the Sons of Iraq turning over a weapons cache. Photographs by Gordon Alanko.

The Sons of Iraq program in southern Arab Jabour is managed by troops from 5th Squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, the 5/7 Cav. The villagers of southern Arab Jabour, around the towns of Sayafiyah and Al Sur, were trying to start a Sons of Iraq program before Coalition forces even secured their village. The Sons of Iraq program got under way almost immediately, and has paid constant dividends, as Sons of Iraq members continue to report improvised explosive devices, al Qaeda in Iraq members, and weapons caches.

Feb. 16 was another day in a string of big days for cooperation between US troops and the Sons of Iraq. Sons of Iraq members turned over a cache that included seven heavy machine guns. As recently as January, some of these weapons were almost certainly used to shoot at American helicopters. As al Qaeda fled the area, they left most of their heavy weapons behind. Sons of Iraq are prohibited under their contract to keep or use heavy weapons, and so these were turned over to the 5/7 Cav.

Turning over weapons, as the Sons of Iraq have done, is significant. American troops have a difficult time locating caches. Most are buried, and there is a lot of dirt to cover and few men. The Sons of Iraq would have had no trouble hiding weapons and storing them against the eventual departure of Coalition forces, to use against whoever tried to take their land.

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  • Alex says:

    That kind of firepower is no joke. Good to see that it’s out of enemy hands.

  • Matthew says:

    Bill, I’m amazed that these “Sons of Iraq” are willing to wear bright orange vests to identify themselves as friendlies and not as enemy troops. These hunters are not looking for deer, but men that can shoot back. Really, hats off to the Iraqis if they are willing to risk their lives like that to help secure a better future for themselves and their families. I suppose they would rather be shot at by more inaccurate enemy fire than the better fire of American troops.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 02/25/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

  • CMAR II says:

    The thing I like about the SOI program is the inherent patriotism underlying its concept. Perhaps the Boy Scout material could be modified as a basis of a Junior Sons of Iraq program. Charters could be devoted to small engineering projects to improve Iraq.

  • Mark Pyruz says:

    The spanking new AK-47’s the “Sons” are seen equipped with in this slideshow are far more impressive than the rusty old junk they’ve collected. Compared to these, they must be delighted to be re-equipped and paid as allied auxiliaries, however temporary that may be. But I’m sure they’re disappointed that the DSHKA is going to the Shia dominated IA.


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