Infantry: June 8, 2005


American troops in Iraq suspect that theres an enemy sniper school somewhere in the country. More and more, Iraqi and coalition troops are encountering snipers. There have always been a few hostile snipers around, and many more Iraqis with sniper rifles, and no sniper skills. Those snipers apparently got their training in elite units of Saddams armed forces, units that recruited only Sunni Arabs who were very loyal to the idea that Iraq should be run by Sunni Arabs. Most of these snipers have a short life expectancy once they get into action, but they account for a disproportionate number of American and Iraqi troops killed or wounded by gunfire. Most hostile Iraqis have marksmanship skills of the spray and pray variety. That means, getting hit by one of these guys is a chance event. However, American troops believe they are encountering more and more trained snipers. But if someone is training snipers, then the sniper school, and its instructors, have become a prime target for American and Iraqi troops now scouring western Iraq for enemy bases. 

Training snipers involves more than marksmanship training. Equally important is learning how to get into a favorable position to make an effective shot, and then get away for fight another day. To date, most Iraqi snipers are quickly located, trapped and killed. But more and more, they are showing the concealment, and escape, skills of a trained professional. 


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