SHOOTOUT: Iraq's Ambush Alley
On March 23, 2003, a 1200-man battalion of U.S. Marines close in on the Iraqi city of An Nasiriyah. Its mission to seize two bridges, one on each end of town.
They had to hold the bridges open so that another convoy of Marines could go through, on its way to Baghdad. The feedback from intelligence analysts was that Nasiriyah might actually welcome the Marines.
Saddam had oppressed the city’s inhabitants for years, so they were not fans of the Hussein regime. However shortly before the U.S. Marines arrival, roughly 3,000 of Saddam loyalists had quietly infiltrated Nasiriyah. They intimidated citizens, stockpiled weapons and prepared fighting positions.
Saddam's men were not able to hold off the Marine onslaught, however the Americans paid a high price to capture the town.