Mosul, Iraq–A member of the Iraq army was slightly injured Friday morning, during a cooridinated attack when insurgeints tarteted a Joint Security Station (JSS) south of Mosul.

Insurgents fired six morter rounds in the vicinity of the JSS, called IT Two, and performed a driveby shooting on an Iraqi army chckpoint in the area. Two vehicles suspected of being involved in the attack were perusued by Iraqi army forces, but no insurgents had been appprehended at the time of this report. There were no U.S. casualities.

The attack came less than 24 hours after a platoon-sized unit of U.S. Forces left with much of their equipment in preparation to turn the base completely over to the Iraqi army. Currently U.S. Forces operate from the base in conjunction with a larger Iraqi army unit.

Pending an inspection by the Governmnet of Iraq, IT Two will be the first base to be turned over in northern Iraq as part of a troop drawdown and eventual withdrwal from the country.

“They’re well qualified to take over the area, ” said Lt. Ryan McAllister, referrring to the Iraqi army unit he has been working alongside since last October. “They were running the show before, but now that we won’t even be there, they can take some pride in that.”

The small outpost is located along an important oil pipeline Southwest of Mosul. It has been used to build trust with farming communities in the area, protect the pipeline, and to disrupt the actions of variouys insurgency groups. The area is suspected of being a planning and logistics center for Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

‘Photos and report by James Johnson, a Hawaii Reporter journalist embedded in Iraq. Reach him at mailto:jkenii@hotmail.com/’

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