Movement through An Nasiriyah

Five vehicles in the convoy had SINCGARS radios and could communicate with one another (see FIGURE 4).  SINCGARS communications were augmented by handheld radios in each vehicle, but because of the extended duration of the convoy the batteries had expired.  CPT King and 1SG Dowdy were communicating about their location and situation frequently as the convoy moved through An Nasiriyah.  


3rd FSB convoy route

507th convoy route

TCP #1

Convoy passes through

23 Mar ~0100L

+59 Hrs


Route BLUE


Convoy Departs

22 Mar 1930L

Convoy Misses Turn Continues Straight

23 Mar ~0600L

+64 Hrs





Convoy Stops

 Cdr & 1SG


23 Mar ~0530L

+63.5 Hrs



FIGURE 5      Convoy routes JACKSON and BLUE

Several Soldiers in the convoy, including CPT King, observed armed civilians and what appeared to be armed Iraqi soldiers at two checkpoints—one upon entering and the other exiting the town.  None of these people fired or indicated hostile intent against the convoy.  In fact, the Iraqi soldiers at the checkpoints waved to the convoy.  One or more civilian trucks with armed civilians and mounted machine guns (some reports refer to these as “technicals”) drove past the convoy several times during its travel through the city, but again, no hostile intent was shown towards the 507th convoy and personnel.

Statements from 507th Soldiers indicate that rules of engagement issued by higher headquarters would only permit firing on personnel that exhibited hostile intent.  Soldiers had also been warned to expect possible “happy fire”--shots fired in celebration and not intended to cause harm, which is a common practice.  Additionally, they had been informed that the carrying of weapons by uniformed or civilian personnel would not, by itself, constitute hostile intent.  The Rules of Engagement (ROE) in effect were summarized on a card issued to Soldiers. The ROE were issued by the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC).  (See FIGURE 6, CFLCC ROE Card). 


                              CFLCC ROE CARD


1.  On order, enemy military and paramilitary forces are declared hostile and may be attacked subject to the following instructions;

    a.  Positive Identification (PID) is required prior to engagement.  PID is a reasonable certainty that the proposed target is a legitimate military target.  If not PID, contact your next higher command for decision.

    b.  Do not engage anyone who has surrendered or is out of battle due to sickness or wounds.

    c.  Do not target or strike any of the following except in self defense to protect yourself, your unit, friendly forces, and designated persons or property under your control:


          Hospitals, mosques, churches, shrines, schools,     

            museums, national monuments, and any other

            historical and cultural sites.

    d.  Do not fire into civilian populated areas obuildings unless the enemy is using them for military purposes or if necessary for your self defense.  collateral damage.

    e.  Do not target enemy infrastructure (public works, commercial communication facilities, dams).  Lines of communication (roads, highways, tunnels, bridges, railways, and economic objectives) commercial storage facilities, pipelines, unless necessary for self defense or if ordered by your commander.  If you must fire on these objects to engage a hostile force, disable and disrupt but, avoid destruction of these objects, if possible.

                              CFLCC ROE CARD


2.  The use of force, including deadly force, is authorized to protect the following:

          Yourself, your unit,, and friendly forces

          Enemy prisoners of war

          Civilians from crimes that are likely to cause death

            or serious bodily harm, such as murder or rape

          Designated civilians and/or property, such as

            personnel of the Red Cross/Crescent, UN, and

            US/UN supported organizations. 

3.  Treat all civilians and their property with respect and dignity.  Do not seize civilian property, including vehicles, unless you have the permission of a company level commander and you give a receipt to the property’s owner.

4.  Detain civilians if they interfere with missi

on accomplihment or if required for self defense. 

5.  CENTM General Order No. 1A remains in effect.  Looting and the taking of war trophies are prohibited.



          Attack enemy forces and military targets.

          Spare civilians and civilian property, if possible.

          Conduct yourself with dignity and honor. 

          Comply with the Law of War.  If you see a violation,  

            report it.


These ROE will remain in effect until your commander orders you to transition to post hostiles ROE.

                                        AS OF 311334Z JAN 03

Figure 6          CFLCC ROE CARD (Copied from original for clarity)


Home | Executive Summary | Introduction | Arrival | Dawson | Lizard | The Routes | An Nasiriyah | The City | The Convoy Attack | Conclusion