OK, after some technical difficulties caused by the last WordPress update conflicting with a plugin, here’s page three of my current story.
I was about 5-600m away when this took place, in early April 2009, (I was with one squad, drinking chai with the Iraqi Police, and the PSG was with another) but from talking to the Soldiers this is pretty much how it went down – someone just hucked a grenade at them from out of a dark alley, missing wide and injuring no one at all, whereupon they just counted noses and went right on working, as will be covered in the next few pages. It may have been the least dramatic TIC of the whole war. No one got a CAB for it because it wasn’t even clear who was being “engaged,” and there was no one to shoot back at.
This was the way a lot (though not all) of the engagements we had went down – the Iraqis usually couldn’t hit us with whatever it was they had, and we weren’t allowed to shoot back due to ROE. In Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell referred to the Spanish Civil War as a war where “everyone always did miss everyone else, when it was humanly possible,” which I distinctly remember thinking of even at the time.
The only artistic license here is the shadowy-ness of the figures, which is more in keeping with the theme of the story than the more likely culprit: 17 year-olds in track pants.