Three people, an Iraqi soldier, an Iraqi police officer, and an insurgent, were killed today in a clash in the village of Hudaidy. 10 other people were wounded in what was said to be a gunbattle between al-Qaeda in Iraq and the security forces.
But the real story is a number of reports that US “non-combat” troops were on hand for the combat, and opened fire on the insurgents. The Pentagon has officially declined comment on the exact role of those troops in the combat, for the obvious reasons.
It was the second major combat US troops have been involved in since the Obama Administration announced the “end” of the combat operations with a series of formal announcements. Last week US troops engaged in a fight in Baghdad when insurgents attacked Baghdad military headquarters.
Some 50,000 US troops remain on the ground and though the administration is still officially pointing to the end of 2011 as the date for their withdrawal, privately officials say troops will almost certainly remain past that date. Iraqi Defense Minister Obeidi insisted last week that US troops would remain through at least 2016 and might remain more or less forever.