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Homeland Security Advisory

April 14, 2008

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Iraqi Army Rescues British Journalist

A kidnapped British journalist was rescued by Iraqi troops on Monday after two months in captivity in the southern city of Basra, the Iraqi military said.

Richard Butler, who worked for CBS News, was found with a sack over his head and his hands tied inside a house in Basra, Lt. Gen. Mohan al-Fireji said. He said Butler was in good condition.

Butler was found during an Iraqi military sweep in the Jibiliya area, a Shiite militia stronghold in Basra, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Defense ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said that an army patrol conducting a search came under fire from the house where Butler was being held. One of the gunmen was wounded in an exchange of fire and another captured while two men managed to escape, he said.

Butler was later shown on Iraqi state television laughing and greeting his rescuers.

"Thank you and I'm looking forward to seeing my family and my friends at CBS and thank you again," Butler told al-Askari.

He described the soldiers' performance as "brilliant."

"The Iraqi army stormed the house and overcame my guards and they burst through the door," Butler said. "I had my hood on which I had to have on all the time and they shouted something at me and I pulled my hood off."

In London, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband welcomed Butler's release and said he was "very grateful to (Iraqi) security forces for the professionalism of the task they have undertaken."

He said Butler was in the care of the British consulate in Basra.

Butler was kidnapped along with his Iraqi interpreter on Feb. 10 in Basra. The interpreter was later released. Iraqi police and witnesses said the two men were seized by about eight masked gunmen wielding machine guns who stormed a hotel in the city.

In recent days, Iraqi forces have started house-to-house sweeps for arms, weapons, drugs and criminal elements in several parts of Basra, Iraq's second-largest city. The military said it has uncovered an improvised explosive device factory, along with significant arms caches and numerous roadside bombs, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

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What a GIANT feet this is for Iraq! This is wonderful, the Iraqi Army is starting to kick some major butt and will be able to stand on thier own soon. Rescuing this guy is awesome. Some people fixate on the 1000 Iraqi Troops that took off and didnt stay and fight, out of 14,000 Troops, I would like to pay attention to the 13,000 Iraqi Troops that stayed and fought in the battle for Basra :-)

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Blogger J_G said...

I guess the Iraqi Army is even better now than it was under the Saddam regime. Do you remember the pictures of whole Iraqi units surrendering to a tank, one helicopter or a drone? There were guys still wearing street shoes surrendering to American forces in the first and second fights in Iraq. I once talked to a guy broker trying to sell cases of former Iraqi army rifles. His sales pitch was "never fired, only dropped once". I passed because they were full of sand.

One thousand deserting is nothing for non American forces. You can see that there were thousands upon thousands deserting in both the Iraqi and Iranian armies in their war with each other during the 80's. The Egyptians had to stand back with tanks in order to keep their forces from deserting when the fought the Israelis but then the tank crews turned tail and beat track out of there too! The new Iraqi forces will be a solid force because they are trained and motivated by real American soldiers and sailors. If only a one thousand desert out of 14 that's not bad, not bad a'tall by middle east standards.

April 14, 2008 3:25 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


Isnt this terrific?

1000 out of 14,000 isnt bad at all I wouldnt think either.

Another story the media is overlooking is the US Military and Coalition Troops let the Iraqi Troops go to town in Basra and they were all on thier own and they managed to call in an airstrike perfectly which wound up taking the life of that terrorist guy al-Masri, who took over for Zarqowi.

These are huge stories and the media isnt reporting them!

April 14, 2008 4:22 PM  
Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

That is wonderful news. The Iraqi forces aren't perfect--but they are improving quickly. No one--especially Petraeus--said this would be easy.

April 14, 2008 5:30 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


I agree, it isnt easy but it sure looks promising :-)

April 14, 2008 7:02 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Excellent story!

April 16, 2008 9:46 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Thank's Word,

I thought it was but we sure didnt hear much about this did we?

April 18, 2008 3:51 PM  

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