This is a three-part account of the Battle of Zarqa, also called the Battle of Najaf. Counterinsurgency operations carry their own metrics, different from those that measure success in combat against an enemy who stands and fights. But by all military standards, Lt. Col. Barry Huggins' 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker battalion achieved a smashing success in what might have been the most traditional battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It ended in such a one-sided victory for U.S. and Iraqi forces that anticoalition media attempted to frame it as a "massacre" - until details came to light of the enemy's plans, detailed preparations and prodigious arsenal of weapons and equipment.

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