Tuesday, April 27, 2004
More reasons not to mess with Marines: It's just not a good idea to walk around toting a rocket-propelled grenade in Fallujah, even if you think no one's watching, because some Marine snipers just might be looking at you.
In the past three weeks, two sniper teams attached to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment have shot down 90 people who have strayed into their sights. The two teams are part of the 100 Marine sharpshooters deployed by three battalions around the city. One sniper secreted away in another corner of Fallujah has "26 confirmed kills," military officers here report.
"Every time we get to kill somebody, he is no longer shooting at the Marines," said Sgt. Dennis Elchlinger, 31, of Encampment, Wyo., who is one of only 500 scout-snipers in the Marine Corps.
Elchlinger admits he doesn't really know whether his team's victims are foreign fighters or local citizens brandishing weapons in a bid to drive out the American occupiers.
"They don't wear a uniform," Elchlinger said. "It's hard to tell the nationality of someone with a towel on his face."
Be afraid, be very afraid.