Marines: River Patrols Defeat IEDs


July 10, 2006: Recently, there was an attack on a Navy-Marine riverine patrol in the Euphrates river near Baghdad. The Navy-operated boat, with a couple of Marine snipers aboard, was conducting a routine patrol to interdict terrorist movements across the river. Apparently a command-detonated IED was used. Fortunately it was on the river bank, and the boat was too far from the blast, and no serious injuries occurred (two lightly wounded). This was the first reported attempt to use an IED against a river patrol. Of course, an RPG would have been better, but that would have drawn accurate return fire. The U.S. Navy is sending a another riverine unit (220 sailors, twelve 39 foot boats) to Iraq this year. Each boat has a crew of sixteen and is armed with machine-guns and automatic grenade launchers. The navy is attempting to eliminate terrorist movements along, and across, the main rivers in Iraq. This is similar to the successful riverine campaign the navy waged in Vietnam four decades ago, using 50 foot "Swift" boats.


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