war stories

Historians will surely include this tale in the annals of this war.

I saw them hit the female soldier, and my heart stopped," said Mohammed, who does not want his family name disclosed for fear of retribution from the Iraqi paramilitary fighters. "I decided to go to the Americans and tell them the story."

On a battlefield where America's enemies look the same as America's friends, that was no small matter. Mohammed had to walk more than 6 miles out of Nasiriyah, along an open road in an area that Marines have nicknamed "Ambush Alley."

When he reached a checkpoint manned by Marines, with his hands raised in the air, he was greeted with a curt "What do you want?"

"Important information about woman soldier," he replied in the broken English he acquired during studies at Basra Law College.

That piqued the interest of a young Marine shouldering an M-16, who then ushered the Iraqi to see his superior officer. Thanks to his wife, Mohammed, 32, was able to give the Marines the hospital layout, including the vital fact that a helicopter could land on the roof of the six-story building.

The Americans asked Mohammed to return to the hospital and bring back additional details about its layout, security and Lynch's exact location.

Luckily, Mohammed also had a good friend who worked as a doctor at the hospital. With the doctor's help, he made two more trips to the hospital � once when U.S. bombs were raining on the area � and drew five maps for Lynch's rescuers.

On one visit, he saw the body of an American killed in battle and a U.S. military uniform. But asked whether he had seen any other Americans alive, Mohammed replied, "Just Jessica. Only Jessica."

read the rest of the story to understand what risks the Iraqi faced as retribution from fedayeen.

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