Taji Iraq is a town nearly centered between Baghdad and the largest American Base at Balad, Camp Anaconda. This is the heart of the Sunni triangle. The road that runs north thru Taji (Highway 1) is a small 4 laned asphalt road that has explosion scars every few feet. Some of the craters are huge.
The US and Iraqi Military are prime targets for attacks. Secondary targets are the supply convoys that I was part of for a year.
was injured in a convoy at Taji today. He was riding in a lead Iraqi military vehicle and in the turret. This is what smells like a set up to me. Very rarely would a gunner not be in the turret of a military gun truck, and the insurgency rarely ever targets the lead vehicle.
The standard attack mode is hit a convoy near the center and spilt or disrupt the convoy and follow up with a attack on ground. Very likely someone in the Iraqi unit tipped the Sunni insurgency about the presence of the journalist in the lead vehicle.
Woodruff is undergoing surgery and he and the cameraman are both in serious condition. He probably was sent to Anaconda (read this cnn story about the Anaconda CSH)
for surgery although there is a small CSH (combat surgical hospital) at Taji.
Never ever should jounalist be allowed to replace gunners in the turret of vehicles in a military convoy. This is why.
As dangerous as the turret gunner was this was the prized seat for all our American gunners over there. Crazy bastards love to ride the turret gun. I love grunts.
Taji itself is the home base of the Iraqi General called "Chemical ALI". There are Americans, Australians and the home of the first Iraqi division at Taji. I spent 6 weeks there in March/April 2005. In my personal view the dinning facilities at Taji were the best in Iraq. The main MWR at Taji is named for Sgt Matt Maupin