The Golden Division of Iraqi special forces is led by Lt. Col. Ali Hussein Fadil, a modern Muslim warrior whose training was shaped by the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Chicago Tribune/L.A. Times: Iraqi band of brothers watch 'American Sniper,' play 'Call of Duty' – and they're out to recapture Mosul
Just before sunset on the first day of the Mosul offensive, Lt. Col. Ali Hussein Fadil called his soldiers to attention in a field about 30 miles east of the city where they had bivouacked.
After five months of training, and now three days of waiting, the 166-strong Najaf battalion of the Iraqi Special Forces known as Golden Division was itching to deploy. You have, he told them, exactly an hour and a half.
“Get ready and we will move toward Mosul,” Hussein said, his voice stern.
The troops paid close attention to their cleanshaven commander’s instructions, delivered in clipped Arabic: Don’t enter houses alone. Take your bazookas and RPGs. Target suicide bombers’ cars quickly before they reach us. Safety first. Commanders, be responsible for your soldiers. Beware of booby-traps and mines.
Some Iraqi commanders don’t emphasize worst-case scenarios, worried about scaring their troops. Hussein said he wanted his men to be prepared for the worst.
They are modern Iraqi warriors, their training shaped by the U.S. invasion in 2003 and the vigorous fighting alongside American troops that followed it.
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WNU editor: This story caught my eye for the simple reason that I am watching "Band Of Brothers" again for the tenth time (give or take).