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Thread: 3 Black Watch soldiers dead

  1. #1
    DanB's Avatar Smoke weed everyday
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    Dead Black Watch soldiers named

    The three Black Watch soldiers killed in a suicide bomb attack in central Iraq on Thursday have been named.

    Sgt Stuart Grey, 31, Pte Paul Lowe, 19, and Pte Scott McArdle, 22, died while manning a vehicle checkpoint, east of the River Euphrates, near Falluja.

    Commander of the regiment Lt Col James Cowan said the deaths of the men, all from Fife, were a painful blow.

    But he said the Black Watch would not be deterred from carrying out their fight against terrorists.

    The men died after a suicide bomber drove his vehicle at the soldiers, detonating a device, before the troops came under "sustained mortar fire".

    The wounded were removed by helicopter but the three soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed instantly, Lt Col Cowan said.


    The sequence of events which led to the deaths began on Wednesday afternoon.

    While carrying out patrols within the Black Watch's area of operation, a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle was damaged by a road side explosion, which the Ministry of Defence says was probably caused by a booby trap.

    A further Warrior - sent to assist the vehicle - was then attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade.

    On Thursday, members of the Black Watch returned to the scene of the attacks to retrieve the two immobilised vehicles.

    It was at a road block set up as part of the recovery operation that the suicide bomber struck.

    The 850-strong force has been attacked repeatedly since it arrived at Camp Dogwood, 20 miles (32km) from Baghdad, on Friday, after a request from the US.

    'Painful blow'

    Speaking at Camp Dogwood, Lt Col Cowan said the dead men would be missed as "brothers in arms".

    "For a close knit family such as the Black Watch this is indeed a painful blow and all three of these soldiers were our friends," he said.

    "But while we feel this blow most keenly we are the Black Watch and we will not be deterred from seeing our task through to a successful conclusion."

    He also paid tribute to an unnamed Iraqi interpreter, who had postponed his wedding to travel north with the battle group from Basra, who was also killed in the attack on the day he was due to get married.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking from Brussels where he stood alongside Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi ahead of an EU summit, hailed the bravery of the dead men but said securing peace in Iraq was "absolutely crucial".

    "[I would like to] express my pride and gratitude to the Black Watch for the extraordinary and heroic job they are doing there, which is of crucial importance to making sure democratic elections can go ahead in Iraq," he said.

    Hospital release

    The bodies of the soldiers will be flown home next week, the MoD said.

    Two of the eight other troops wounded in the attack remain in hospital but were due to be released on Friday.


    Black Watch on the eastern side of the Euphrates

    British casualties in Iraq

    Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram said the deaths - the first British losses to suicide attacks - could have happened anywhere in Iraq.

    Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond said the deployment was "a political one" aimed at helping President George Bush in the US election and that Black Watch had been given an "impossible job".

    His comments were echoed by Craig Lowe, 18, whose brother Paul died in the attacks.

    The Black Watch had been sent to the "dangerous part of Iraq" to help Mr Bush, he told reporters on Friday morning.

    But Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told BBC News it was "a straightforward military" deployment and criticised Mr Salmond for taking "political advantage of the death of three brave men".

    Expanded operations

    Defence analyst Colonel Mike Dewar dismissed the "absurd fuss" made by the media and politicians over "a purely operational matter" and called for "perspective" on the deaths.

    "Of course a death is always a tragedy but if the... then minister of defence was interviewed for every death in the Second World War it would become laughable," he told BBC News.

    The latest attack brings to 73 the number of UK military personnel killed in Iraq, although only 31 have actually been as a result of enemy attacks.

    The east side of the river had been controlled by US marines until this week, when the Black Watch began active patrols from their base at Camp Dogwood on the west bank of the river.

    The Black Watch expanded its operations in an attempt to stop rebels reaching Falluja.

    The Black Watch battle group comprises three companies of armoured infantry from the 1st Battalion The Black Watch, with some 500 men and 50 Warrior armoured fighting vehicles.

    The regiment traditionally recruits from Perthshire, Angus and Fife, is based in Warminster, Wiltshire.
    Source


    Surprised it took so long

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    Any troop or civilian losses in Iraq are sad and IMO unnecessary. Sadly the recent fatalities also brings the UK troop deaths into line with that of the US troops. Percentage wise I mean.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    My thoughts go to the families, as with all the people that suffer such loss

    it’s an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    My sympathies to all the families and friends.



    I was in an associated unit of the Black Watch, I know the members of my former Battery will all feel their pain.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    It is all pretty crap. My sympathies go out to all concerned. I hope there are no more before their return.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    My sympathies with the latest Black Watch casualties..

    And the political ramafications continue to unfold...


    It has been reported that the commanding officer of the Black Watch allegedly wrote a series of emails expressing concern over the controversial decision to redeploy the regiment within Iraq.

    According to the Daily Telegraph, Lieutenant Colonel James Cowan wrote that the regiment expected “every lunatic terrorist from miles around to descend on us like bees to honey”. The Ministry of Defence said it did not comment on leaked documents or emails.
    Source

    And why its all for nothing

    On the ground, a marine commander told his young crew they were headed for victory if they entered the Sunni Muslim bastion, west of Baghdad.

    "You will be making history," Major General Richard Natonski said.

    "Forty years from now, 100 years from now, they will be talking about the battle of Fallujah."

    Another commander was more wary, ordering his men to be on constant alert.

    "If someone raises their hands in surrender, what are you going to do? Shoot him," Colonel Michael Shupp said.

    "Why? Because of the threat of suicide bombers."


    Soldiers and marines are psyched and ready for action after the rallying words from their commanders.
    Now remember, all males of Military Age that have tried to leave the city have been turned back...and most Iraqi's have guns.

    In effect, this 2nd colonel is saying "Kill every man in the city"

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Now remember, all males of Military Age that have tried to leave the city have been turned back...and most Iraqi's have guns.

    In effect, this 2nd colonel is saying "Kill every man in the city"
    Kind of reminds you of Srebrenica, don't you think?
    Last edited by lynx; 11-07-2004 at 11:23 PM.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    Am i gonna have to bump this every day now?

    My sympathies to the family and friends of the latest fatality, and the other casualties.

    BBC
    Last edited by Rat Faced; 11-08-2004 at 07:51 PM.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

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