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Tonight on war stories we go on patrol with the first marine expeditionary force in Iraq and looking -- hidden weapons they're playing.
-- throwing his brother -- mile hole and suspected terror.
Before it's like it's coming.
Like whether somebody behind this wall of an issue.
Try to win over the people the body here really isn't we've got them both as fighters -- hearts and minds in Iraq struggled.
-- -- -- North welcome to war stories.
During the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom columns of army and Marines are always toward Baghdad.
After the fall of Saddam's regime the nature of combat changed.
Flooded into Iraq analyzes how -- former -- -- Wallace instigate the insurgents.
I would hear soldiers sailors airmen Marines refer to this phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom is the second semester of the war.
Just like school astonishing number of them are returning.
Veterans of the race to Baghdad.
This is their story.
But those young Americans serving.
The front lines in the war on terror.
In April 2000.
Four I made my third trip to Iraq since operation Iraqi.
Freedom -- game.
This time I was initially embedded with the second battalion fourth Marines -- heavily decorated combat infantry battalion.
Earlier this year war stories followed some of these Marines during their pre deployment training Camp Pendleton California.
That's where we are in just.
Our own and operate.
-- -- -- -- -- -- You don't make it realistic.
It's been a long journey which would take them to post handed over Iraq.
And -- you'll see tonight in this special edition of war stories the path to democracy is not always -- I transfer authority to -- combat unit.
And 24 march 2004 these Marines along with the rest of the first marine expeditionary force or IMF.
Assumed responsibility for the western part of Iraq from the army's 82 airborne division.
This part of Iraq is known as the Al Anbar Province.
That makes up a large portion of the so called Sunni Triangle.
And it's seen some of the most violent insurgencies.
Over the past years could give us a sense for what the mission first marine expeditionary forces.
Commissioner -- up for the next twelve months basically provide security and stability of oil or problems -- reports about -- for the land mass of Iraq.
And when you say that of security for exactly what kind of security we talk.
Or trying to do to set the stage for conditions necessary to transition back direct control so.
First off we need to ensure that they are the appropriate security apparatus in place we have programs that are training Iraqi Security Forces broke again for those that are necessary.
Run a country local police.
Local militia -- that's -- -- -- border control and take of all the way out of the borders saudis review.
Jordan series gives a sense for what you got -- We do have -- all the -- -- -- or prepared to mention what we're looking at periods.
What is the security situation -- The borders of the border control of necessary things in place that will allow -- country correct stand up.
Safeguard its -- -- Biden's group -- people involved in the country what would have some of these places like out here and along the edge of the border.
Well some of our Marines characterize some places it's kind of like the -- Star Wars the force it.
Others have described.
In other terms but essentially these are areas that traditionally have been.
Less populated less subtle and they have some unique characters there.
Coalition forces secure Baghdad.
After just 43 days of royal air attack.
Just three days later Saddam's hometown of Tikrit -- along with his regime.
Eight months after the fall of Baghdad US soldiers -- the disheveled dictator hiding in a hole in the ground just miles from his hometown.
Despite Saddam's capture.
Pockets of resistance and massive amounts of munitions remains scattered throughout the country.
Securing Iraq 2000 plus mile long border has been problematic machinery of insurgency.
Has come across the border I'm -- jazz is a foreign affairs and terrorism analyst for Fox News.
We have done a very poor job of shutting down the borders on both sides Syrian border and here on in Iraq War and it's over those borders that foreign terrorists -- flooded into post Saddam Iraq to use the weapons his army abandoned.
In an effort to quell the growing insurgency to transfer of sovereignty -- Iraq became official reported June 2004.
Days ahead of schedule.
They also marks a proud moral achievement.
For members of our coalition.
We pledge to -- -- dangerous regime.
To free the oppressed.
And to restore -- -- As the new government prepares for the trial of Saddam and the country's first democratic elections only time will tell what Iraq's future holds.
But the future of the second battalion fourth Marines and the rest of the 140000.
US and 25000.
Coalition troops remains the same.
Provide security and stability as the struggle for freedom continues.
Sort of the fiercest lady third and April 5 sixth seventh.
Marines were attacked by dozens of insurgents -- the governor's palace of our money.
An -- -- up -- -- had been relatively.
It's been said -- is 95%.
-- and 5% stark terror.
Those days it was terrorist.
That was a dramatic change from the climate we've been operating -- secure.
This -- the day before we were ahead -- -- information pamphlets.
The people with different projects throughout the community.
Playing with the children and then out of nowhere we got it pretty violent.
And -- declared war on us and we yeah.
Responded we'll just -- break party here at Indian Wells affiliated that I really know that didn't trust them it's not a fun particulars on the phone.
Mean seven to ten 11 -- Does this fire we've thought through the streets here.
Six if you don't because of -- -- going to be a lot of.
This exclusive look Jimmy brings him down and realize that I liberals explain anything medical corpsman held for -- The battle are -- raged on for three days over 250.
Killed and hopefully he's made the ultimate sacrifice.
For marine expeditionary force.
Experience and number -- people killed wounded.
The last few days Kevin -- -- echo company was hit the hardest.
Guys we're we're experts in the way that they set up their ambush site how they -- up cleaned up the ramp which side.
And the fact that they hit it's near simultaneously.
In three different areas.
We were patrolling the streets -- the model.
No better friend -- worst enemy cover that day.
Now that I look back districts were pretty empty and their body on the street was enemies are.
And Easter Sunday the Marines remembered their fallen Brothers.
Despite the losses captain -- said his Marines would prevail and ar ramadi.
I -- put patrols back out of my my area.
We have fought hard for this area we have fought hard for the local.
-- peace -- civilian Iraqis in the area and -- not a lot of I'm not about alleged thugs are criminals terrorists the fact that.
So we were right back -- the very next morning.
For many of the Marines we traveled with this was their second deployment to Iraq but this mission was different when -- -- -- Fighting a new kind of war.
In the land between the river.
Probably -- operations are just one of the many missions being carried out in all -- Anbar Province.
Marines patrol the neighborhoods and sometimes -- the bad guys.
So a terrorist cell that is the second offense -- we've just come head to head with any of -- The bad news patrols like this help boost -- insurgent activities after days of this flight since the -- April.
The number of engagements has dropped.
Why I don't know if they can sustain the rate they're trying to fight its way it.
But -- that job but as fighting -- and all ramadi and other city in the rest of Sunni Triangle continue to be a flash point.
About thirty miles east is Fallujah.
A hotbed of terrorist based resistance.
-- in the insurgency.
Are people who are interested in trying to bring back to life the -- office.
Enterprise he's people who -- in the office they would.
The power structure it.
Existed there -- essentially all former Saddam oil and clashes here began after four American civilian contractors were killed in March during an ambush.
Their bodies dragged -- the city street and hung from a bridge.
Operation vigilant resolve was carried out -- units of the first.
Itself it would Shiite militants killed by Muslim cleric Muqtada Al Sadr was putting -- a fierce and unexpected resistance.
Currently we see a significant threat in the vicinity of new jobs.
By the name of -- -- -- and his militia.
The idea was when Shiite -- excuse you know extend their religious influence initially and then political.
Into some of the previous storm that.
Having done what they needed to in the south.
Began to start to march forward into the north because that's where they wanted to have their influence felt politically.
And mid April Iraq's struggle for freedom grew more difficult is different factions battle for -- Coalition troops were forced to played on many fronts.
And against many animals.
Enemy and then dressed in black tire -- green.
-- deserts her the face of the enemy has evolved since the first days of the Iraq conflict.
Adversaries are now a combination of former bath party members Sunnis.
Shiites and a growing influx of foreign fighters -- -- Syria Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
There are a number of different jihadist organizations now operating here in Iraq.
Among them are -- Hezbollah Islamic Shiite Muslim Brotherhood really is what I call terrorism being.
The objective from day one remains the objective today.
Simply to destabilize the Americans until they're ready to get this is not a vowed to Shiite Islam verses in the Islamic -- this is about Muslims.
Against the infidels.
And it doesn't matter what brand of Islam you are let's join hands together.
When denied the citizens of Iraq their freedom.
When -- deny the citizens of Iraq and liberty.
For the second battalion fourth Marines position on the front lines and ramadi telling friend from foe is increasingly difficult.
Have you noticed any changes you.
Go out ramadi in the control room.
And before it was like that there's like kids come out later and it's.
That there's somebody behind this -- division.
-- -- Carter's who's willing and patient and when not what your rules of engagement we have -- positive ID.
-- -- shooting as before we get you back.
And that's the.
The last resorts -- This velvet glove approach requires good intelligence.
Assignment this night is a joint mission with the US special operations forces to search a local Islamic center.
Joining commander Paul Kennedy believes it's been used to organize terror cells -- -- That's just.
Direct access -- neighborhood and a piece of stones at us plundered his line as Marines has its -- wrong.
Tonight there's little resistance is six suspected terrorists are detained.
Next turn in the days to turn back in the night as they patrol the streets and conduct a search.
Looking for weapons that could be used against them.
But the veneer of safety -- routine can vanish in a split second on this -- our interview is quickly aborted as enemy mortar fire rains down dangerously close.
-- But it's not just these kinds of munitions that are striking down Americans who real killers -- homemade.
And take a terrible hole.
These relatively simple homemade bombs called improvised explosive devices or I eat these have now become a deadly -- in the fight for stability in Iraq.
Concealed and roadside gravel -- common household items dreams farm animals they become the number one killer of troops in Iraq.
In the last year more than -- 135.
US military personnel have been killed by these devices and hundreds more wounded.
The amount of orbits of Iraq to can be turned in the -- is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of tons.
Every day I -- these are discovered and if you.
But not always in time to save lives.
This man took the matter of defusing an IED into his own hands.
Strategically placed -- convoy -- a means to wreak Havoc on mobile units.
During this attack or Iraqi civilians were killed -- -- -- blew up their truck.
Yeah I'm -- detonated.
Sit through digital locker -- right yeah.
He's called them up by the players.
Did we get impatient as we want out here and a good look getaway but -- all right there got a -- don't wanna connect on like five.
Planted the hard way and if somebody yeah.
It's all of the day's work to make things safer for everyone in Iraq.
Winning the hearts and minds of a hostile population is a -- For the so the first marine division.
It began backing.
That's just ahead.
On -- story.
-- months before touching down in Iraq's Al Anbar Province the second battalion fourth Marines along with the rest of the first -- We expeditionary force underwent intense pre deployment training at camp -- and and march air force base in California.
-- I just.
And be safe out there.
I'll see you probably around 6070.
Both men walked up and play outside go.
Pre deployment training is constantly updated based -- the most recent experience for Marines the field.
This time they had a little urban patrol that.
What would this training be enough.
You guys -- Your train two things what's his side.
Was actually supposed to mean you is close to as we can yes that's what we're gonna see him Iraq set -- -- scenario in the the town on the moon and go into an operating.
We get the Marines season in the situation they might possibly see over there are getting used to operating in what we called a firm base here where we're sending out now.
And I can -- on and then some actual -- to deal with this there's this.
He truly is outfitted with miles 2000 laser targeting -- High tech military version of Lazard.
It's pretty high speed and it tells.
Until you wage your kill the time you were killed.
And so it goes back into our database system that leaves we'll -- tax reform and then -- the beeper goes off.
And like -- break -- and policeman.
Fired on the before in the majors and.
The Marines pre deployment training with urban patrol.
Detection of improvised explosive devices convoy operations and vehicle inspections.
Marines in -- role players behind article in the final field exercise before this -- -- -- goes to Iraq.
This base march air force base here in California there's been reconstructed by these Marines to make this training as realistic as possible.
Because in just a few weeks they'll be doing it for real.
The bad blood members of his sons was severely.
Also -- out.
They're going through a vehicle.
That's and it's just like that concern is not -- -- it's amazing how how much detail they've put into this town with the Intel that they gathered.
And are still gathering from Iraq in the situation room and -- facing over there.
I would never -- Here and really explains to his troops where they must keep their windows covered -- deploy to Iraq the Iraqi People I have right now the situation.
They they have built out.
They don't have power and were you I thought they can see all the lights are out.
You really angry -- that's going to be a lot of chaos.
Limbaugh role players and from my oblivion from the eleventh.
And -- it's amazing how fast they can both things together like this.
The Marines are out here dresses -- Iraqis and civilians.
They go to work every day they come home they drive taxicabs and water -- at commanders destroy its.
Actually like a small towns that we -- afternoon.
This group is it true that this wonderful trend trend we've -- this.
This is outstanding and doesn't anymore -- Darren ar ramadi for the Marines have -- for every day brings a new test of what they learned Camp Pendleton.
The Americans own the night it's become an axiom of modern warfare.
It's only possible because of some very sophisticated.
And lots of training up next war stories gets up close and personal with the enemy on night raids members of the first marine division.
And the army's big -- one.
-- come -- we go for the war in Iraq with the -- Marines and one of their most dangerous missions.
This is -- ramadi yet light and this is how the Marines operate best when they concede enemy.
And the enemy can't -- them.
Dozens of being sold -- Portland search operation for being carried out in Iraq every week.
Helped bring stability to the country.
The -- glowed under the cover of darkness looking for an invisible and unpredictable.
And they never know what they're going to -- The Marines prepare to move out on the latest mission.
We've put our cameras with special night vision here without -- almost line.
And the Marines have their -- equipment that lets them see in the dark tonight mission is to look for weapons this -- -- the -- of a man suspected of making.
Deadly improvised explosive devices.
I -- needs.
They want our approach -- be as inconspicuous.
The place is surrounded were cordoned off.
-- -- -- I think in the dark for relief sharpshooters the security -- And a quick reaction force their position on the edge of the perimeter drink all these missions to protect the Marines of the search element from possible -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- No one seems to be there except for a house keep.
If you want to bring.
All and we -- that well yeah.
There are piles of blankets and bedding stacked everywhere a sign that many have been sleeping here.
-- colonel Paul Kennedy believes it would be a terrorist crash -- People like doctor place.
Look at these items -- -- -- -- his brother -- Every hole is strong and searched.
And in the backyard the -- find more than a -- Thirty minutes.
A cache of Soviet made mortar rounds still in their plastic covers smoke if you millimeters.
Your editor -- 7620.
Go in -- around what.
A -- a sniper rifle with ammunition.
Whether it's opening.
Well yeah definitely.
Vendors -- A man -- -- at this question about the deadly ordinance that in the back yard.
As the sun comes up the -- show off what they've found.
They discovered more than 36.
Maybe two millimeter mortar rounds and our TV and Artie okay.
-- -- -- off sniper rifle and all kinds of equipment used to make these improvised explosive device.
Not bad religious world.
-- needs to be done to disarm this heavily militarized nations.
During Saddam Hussein's 44 new -- the accumulated hundreds of millions of -- of -- And was infamous for stockpiling -- schools mosques.
And other non military sites much of that ordinance has now been gathered up and is being disposed of by -- demolition.
Last November we were there to see them -- action.
How long -- right now their -- and they're thinking anywhere from me if I years and we've seen and where we have no laughing away perfectly all the time.
Still Iraq remains one of the most heavily armed country is on the -- On this day local sheiks in my arms and -- an ar -- have been invited to view the extent of the problem.
It just two weeks the second battalion fourth Marines has collected over 300 AK forty -- 34 -- became machine guns.
For -- 23 millimeters antiaircraft.
Thirteen 61 millimeter mortars nineteen pistols and other assorted military hardware.
31 of those weapons back there and pretty much -- that's -- captured wounded or killed.
And -- terrorists to rounding up these weapons is a daunting task.
This -- fox company is open and other -- -- they call it operation shake -- off.
Intelligence indicates little local -- has been directing terrorist attacks against coalition forces and innocent civilians are getting caught in the crossfire.
The -- errors compound and round up the residence and hoping to make -- match with the pictures from these flyers.
The suspect is an in this group but his apartment is next door.
The -- doesn't -- and even through these tough Marines.
But they finally break through.
-- No -- -- his neighbors say the -- hasn't been seen in days.
Operations like this might seem -- the captain mark -- commanding officer of fox company drew for who leaves their vital.
It is frustrating but if we do it the right way.
It's it's okay can perhaps -- a positive thing.
One of the things that -- -- first got here every interaction that the Iraqis happens to be a positive.
Even if you're stuck in the afternoon something wrong he needs to walk away with it knowing that you're not paid.
-- you're not a bully.
And they're doing your job.
And yes we go into homes and we -- an easy.
Make sure we tell them while they're there why we're there.
It's pointed -- what we're doing.
And nine times out of ten there -- generally genuinely appreciative.
That were out trying to help make this place is safe place to -- Winning the hearts and minds of -- hostile populations defense.
Here in Iraq they've put their -- on civil affairs the good news.
That's just ahead on -- Okay.
The first marine division along with a brigade of the army's first infantry division is focused on rooting out and destroying a hotbed of terrorists and ar ramadi.
But another tough -- is still ahead.
The fire really isn't with guns -- -- -- fighters really with hearts and minds we need to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people -- convince them that we're here doing the right thing for them when you guys first got here was a civilian population -- -- I think that the enemies of Iraq would that be didn't believe that we're here.
-- for oil over here for.
-- by the things are robbed them of what's -- it and that's about the case one way the Marines try to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi People.
Is to conduct information operations I knows for sure and so the IO operations are designed to convince them -- Or -- has there been designed to get Gary -- -- have trust and confidence in us but more important that through.
Feed that information about what was going on a local government what the future plans for Iraq are how -- not plan -- staying here which is here simply for their security.
And they keep Iraq safe for the captain Kelly -- preps his Marines before they head out on patrol.
-- -- -- Yeah.
-- The Marines also prepare the Iraqi people for the transfer of power.
In for their country's first democratic election.
Here's a -- It's just after sunrise.
The Marines of echo company -- ready to launch operation bug on -- In an effort to build report that Iraqi People the Marines go door to door on foot patrols in the neighborhood of ar ramadi we get a friendly reception.
So Marines began to -- up posters and hand out flyers.
While -- sweep the area for IED's and other ordnance.
Our interpret his nickname is Rocco explains that this man what the Marines are doing.
Well -- estimate that it was done these in this area in the neighborhood of -- That it's dangerous resentment that's why we're here.
Then little -- there's.
The -- of the big home.
The -- tells the Marines that he needs ten coloring books -- anything guidebook that.
It -- for you.
The -- -- to speak with some locals before they continue moving house to house next we meet a group of truck drivers.
It was then that everything is immediately and I'll do does he -- and hit a drive and a nine.
Marine tells them how they can join the fight to make our ramadi say that -- blitzer -- applications.
We get more police.
That you must apply it can after twelve long hours operation book hunt -- -- -- And while we're all tired the -- seems to have been a success.
Tomorrow the Marines will get up but -- and do it all over again in another neighborhood.
I don't know what is that keeps these young Marines going.
I think that most bored with all the Marines is that the reason why they keep doing this because Switzerland.
And the I know I haven't.
My wife and I have a little boy I just try to treat them the way -- -- some poetry.
The soldiers and Marines -- the coalition note that the future of Iraq lies in the hands of its children.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Is proving to be an educational system for the children of Iraq is Paramount -- We have rehabilitated 2500.
-- schools and we continue to work.
The United States has provided almost eighty million school -- and we have distributed nearly five million chips containing school supplies.
Teachers' salaries now average 220 dollars month allowance.
An entry level salaries have gone from five dollars to 66 -- In spite of that.
There's there -- people here who do not want you to succeed mr.
cool is the enemy here.
Sir I think the enemy and it is.
Bremer and -- -- I -- -- -- yeah I don't think anyone's necessarily hates us what really want to do -- harm I think there are misinformed.
Up next bravery on the battlefield.
-- Marines the heart to go on.
His Iraq's new government.
Ready to take on the terrorists.
It's another mission to track down the enemy.
These operations never become routine.
Because danger is always present.
-- -- -- -- find it.
It's hard you know.
Not all these two -- want to be here sometimes.
We had a bad day you don't stick to something like that these people it gives me.
Many of these Marines are on their second tour of duty in Iraq in less than a year.
And just days before it was announced that this deployment could be extended by another three months.
Came here good job Tenet of the national -- directed -- something.
So that they haven't had for so long it's scientists and Saddam Hussein.
-- -- City street sense.
-- and this days some of the Marines are honored for wounds and come back.
The rewarded America's oldest military decoration the purple heart established by general George Washington.
And -- New York August 7 1782.
Sustained injuries to report back on table marriage on the twentieth of march 2000 -- sustained injuries transport Claude Johnson.
Standing injuries -- scrambled out -- ar ramadi Iraq.
Over 4500 US.
Personal have been wounded in Iraq nearly 900 have been killed and those numbers are likely to grow before this operation is over.
This -- over.
Purple hearts it's more than eighteen -- And yet remarkable number of these -- in -- -- the rules.
Say they want us why.
Well you know we like thing that.
Young Marines fight for their country and fight for patriotism and certainly do that otherwise -- would you be Emory.
But they fight the man left -- right and they know that that man is counting them.
And if he's back in the states or respect in a hospital.
He carries an -- bird because he knows that the men -- on the battlefield Vietnam there.
One brave Marines sorely missed by second battalion fourth Marines is Lance corporal David -- Sterger.
I caught up with -- -- the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland where he's recuperating from wounds from a roadside bomb.
-- -- -- -- -- And so wonderful -- me in the back of the vehicle.
-- Sterger survived but he lost his friend in the blast do.
His funeral was if it is.
-- We need to -- and that it -- -- those that whose.
Whose phone was thankfully.
Is it worth of -- with it.
Iraq is on the path to become the first democratic state in the Arab world.
-- -- -- a great event in the history of Iraq.
History of the Middle East.
And history of -- An interim government now has political control until elections are held early next year.
The database security for the Iraqi People remains a challenge.
Immediately after the handover Iraq's military and police began taking a more prominent role.
And the fledgling democracy is getting international help from NATO and Jordan's King Abdullah.
The job isn't over for the 163000.
US and coalition troops still in Iraq.
As Saddam stands before the Iraqi justice system terror attacks kidnappings and murders remain a reality.
And Abu Musab also Curry's foreign terrorists.
Still control parts of Fallujah.
Back in April captain Shannon Johnson's rifle company of third battalion fourth Marines held a sector on the east side of the city.
They're right here.
People and individuals and building or.
-- -- -- -- In the waning daylight -- cobra gunship pins down the enemy.
And a marine sniper prepares to take -- a light which the terrorists used to play the Marines night vision devices.
He slows his reason concentrates.
And hits the target nearly a mile away.
Despite the changing political atmosphere.
Clashes continue in Fallujah ar ramadi and other restive areas it's clear that the struggle for.
Iraqi freedom is not over a story here trying to makes.
Not gonna happen overnight just want these people enjoy what I do on American freedom more -- mass transit.
A chance to do what I've been my hallmark.
For the stories we'll be right back whole group -- about war.
When it -- goals of operation Iraqi.
-- that was that deny terrorists the opportunity using the land between the rivers as a haven for their jihadist war.
A stable friendly government.
-- Iraq and I hate it -- it turned out to be the easy part of offering the Iraqi People the hope for freedom.
It also requires secure stability.
The rule of law for the building of institutions of government.
For free enterprise democracy and for justice they've -- That is being -- all of these tests -- its challenges.
Young Americans are up attacks.
There is is a war story that deserves the people.
I'm Oliver North tonight.
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