This afternoon, a US military patrol stopped to inspect an Iraqi military checkpoint in a Sunni neighborhood in western Mosul. According to Iraqi personnel and witnesses, an argument broke out during which one of the American soldiers cursed Iraqi soldier Barzan Mohammed Abdullah, spit in his face, then slapped him.
Enraged, Abdullah opened fire on the American soldiers, killing four and wounding four others before being killed himself according to an anonymous source in Iraq’s Interior Ministry. The US version of the incident has that Iraqi soldier “hiding in a building” before the attack and makes no mention of any argument. The US version also has the same number of overall casualties, but says only two were killed and six were wounded.
US forces have engaged in a massive operation to quell violence in the embattled Iraqi city since May, and while they report some success violence his lingered, particularly against Iraqi Christians. This is one of the rare occasions that the violence has taken the form of a clash between US and Iraqi forces, however.