Putnam: Sectarian Massacre

From Bill Putnam: On the surface, these two photos aren't anything special or probably newsworthy. They are photos of a sectarian massacre though. Insurgents stopped two busses carrying employees home from work at the Bayji Oil Refinery thermal plant the afternoon of March 31. They pulled nine men off -- six Shia and three Sunnis -- and shot them. All of the Shia and two Sunni died; one Sunni man lived and at last word is still in hospital. The circumstances behind this are obviously a little murky. Penetrating that murkiness is proving a little difficult for the 1st of the 187th Infantry. An official from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil arrived at the refinery the afternoon these photos were made. His drive up from Baghdad was faster than his investigation. No sooner than he arrived at the scene did he surmise it was the "work of insurgents" and concluded it. The next day 17 Shia families started an exodus out of Bayji that continues today. PUTNAM_060402BAYJI_01 Staff Sgt. Jeremy Shields, 1st Lt. Dave Elliott and Alex the Terp, look at the scene April 2, 2006. PUTNAM_060402BAYJI_07 A bullet casing from an AK-47 the insurgents used to execute the men. PUTNAM_060402BAYJI_10This third photo isn't related directly anyway to the massacre photos. Someone parked a car bomb on Highway 1, the country's main north-south highway which also runs through Bayji. The target was an Iraqi army Security Infrastructure Battalion convoy. The bomb wasn't the suicide version (no body parts found in the debris field) and the SIB didn't take any casualties.

Technorati Tags: iraq, iraq army, military, massacre

Putnam: Bayji File

From Bill Putnam: I'm back in Bayji, Iraq, and re-embedded with Abu Co., 1st of the 187th Infantry. I was last with the unit in November and December. It's been the best embed I've had in Iraq, period.
The battalion is now partnered up with an Iraqi army battalion recently sent down to the violatile town of Bayji. A grimy city of about 60,000 people in Saluhiddin province, Bayji is also home of Iraq's largest oil refinery. The insurgency is active here because of their funding from the refinery.
Cracking the insurgency here will be a difficult mission. Photographing those efforts has been fairly successful so far.
These photographs were made on my first patrol back. It was also Abu's first time back in to Bayji in almost two months. Almost all patrols and missions here are now joint with the IA battalion."

Sgt. 1st Class Tim Shuler pointing to grafitti that says "Long Live Saddam!" in Arabic.

A junedi from the battalion during the patrol.

A lady doing what Iraqis do best: look directly at cameras.

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Just Another Checkpoint

Here is a curious series by Bill Putnam, who has been in Iraq for 21 months.

From Putnam: Every so often the various Iraqi police units in Bayji will shut the city down and search it for wanted insurgents, terrorists or criminals. Every road, highway and even goat trail leading in or out is blocked by Iraqi army infantry or Security Infrastructure Battalions. Then IP and special police units called ERU go in and "systematically" search the city. I couldn't go in to the city to witness this event. I was stuck at a blocking position manned by IA infantry and the Americans from Abu Co., 1st of the 187th Infantry. Traffic was backed up for almost five kilometers in either direction during the search. Trucks of police and IA sped past us while civilians stood by and watched. The sun beat down and people eventually got restless. Despite operations like this being a regular event here, they didn't understand what was going on. I have no idea if anyone was detained. PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_02 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_03 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_05 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_07 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_11 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_12 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_15

Timothy Floyd: Army Surgical Team in Iraq

From Timothy Floyd: I had the privilege of serving during the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom as an orthopedic surgeon in U. S. Army's 934th Forward Surgical Team. We traveled at the front with various brigades treating, not only wounded coalition forces, but Iraqi civilians, soldiers, Republican and Special Republican Guard, as well as Fedayeen terrorists. Initially, we treated the wounded in our canvas surgical tent. As the war progressed, we made unescorted humanitarian missions to homes, villages, hospitals, and camps, including a "black mission" to treat wounded Iranian MEK soldiers. My photographs tell the story of what I saw and felt, and the uncommon empathy, courage and humanity I witnessed. My experience was much different that what is usually portrayed in the American media, but is consistent with most accounts of men and women who have been to Iraq or who are there now. The Iraqi people are just like anyone else worldwide; most of them only want a peaceful life and the freedom to work, study, play and raise a family. (More of Dr. Floyd's photographs can be found here.)


CPT. Bryan Moore attends a post-op wounded Iraqi woman.


A boy wounded near Baghdad by a grenade his brother set off.


CPT Charlotte Lee attends a wounded Iraqi Republican Guard soldier.


An Iraqi man brings a sick child to an American Army doctor near Balad


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