Mountain Man Scrags AQ Emir
By Sgt. Chris McCann, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs Office
SADR AL-YUSUFIYAH, Iraq â€” An air assault and a fortuitous chain of events on the western bank of the Euphrates in Owesat Village, Iraq, Aug. 4, resulted in the shooting of a major al-Qaida emir by a sergeant reacting from his training.
Sgt. Joshua Cox, of Kerrville, Texas, a team leader with 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., was near a reed-line after midnight. A man came out of the weeds with an AK-47 assault rifle and charged at Cox. After shouting two verbal warnings with no response, Cox shot him. It was only later that he learned the man was Ahmed Taha Awad al Janabi, the brigadeâ€™s top target and one of Multi-National Division-Centerâ€™s top 15.
Company A, 2-14th Inf. Regt., arrived near a cluster of houses just after midnight. Almost immediately, they came under small arms fire from seven fleeing terrorists. A Soldier was shot in the thigh, and a medical evacuation helicopter was called in to evacuate him.
As the helicopter came in to pick up the wounded Soldier, it too came under fire from the terrorists, who had not run far. Taha had stopped in the reeds.
â€œHe shot at the medevac helicopter,â€ said Lt. Col. John Valledor, commander, 2-14th Inf. Regt. and a native of Weehawken, N.J. â€œThat was a fatal mistake.â€
The shots brought other Soldiers, including Cox, to the reed-line, and when Taha climbed out of the reeds and ran toward him, rifle in hand, Cox reacted.
â€œHe didnâ€™t respond to my warnings, so I shot him,â€ Cox said. â€œI was scared, too â€“ in the mission briefing we were told that they would probably have suicide vests, and when I shot him, he fell on me. I had to push him off, and I thought he was going to explode before he died. But he wasnâ€™t wearing a suicide vest, luckily.â€
The Soldiers continued the mission and got their wounded comrade to medical treatment.
â€œLast year, the Soldiers spent hours training to put two rounds center-mass in a target,â€ Valledor said. â€œNot many ever have to do it in real life. But when Cox was presented with that need, he acted instinctively and put his rounds center mass. He took out the brigadeâ€™s number one target.â€
Taha was on the brigadeâ€™s list for his significant role in the planning of the April 2005 capture and killing of two Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky. He is also suspected to have had a role in the May attack that left several Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, dead and two others missing.
â€œIâ€™m very proud of the actions of Cox and his brothers-in-arms in Company A,â€ Valledor said. â€œHe did it right.â€
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at 3:00 pm and is filed under War on Terror, Iraq, War on Terror, Iraq, Surge 2007, Tenth Mountain Division, War on Terror. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.