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[casi] US forces use schools for cover

Sydney Morning Herald

US forces use schools for cover
By Russell Skelton in northern Iraq
April 4 2003

United States special forces have taken up strategic positions in three
secondary schools located in a densely populated residential area of a city
in northern Iraq.

The schools, which have been closed since the war began, are located near a
prominent Christian church and within 200 metres of a United Nations

The decision to locate the special forces in a residential area appears to
run counter to US policy. The Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, recently
criticised Iraq for placing key military units and weaponry in and around
mosques, hospitals and schools in both Baghdad and Basra.

The decision also appears to be a departure from US policy in northern Iraq.
Thousands of paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade have been
deliberately located well away from any population centres.

For security reasons the name of the city will not be published. But
yesterday I observed four Humvees equipped with mortars, missiles and .50
calibre machine-guns unloading men and equipment at a girls' secondary
school. Soldiers entered the school through a side entrance.

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