During the massive U.S. attack on the al Qaeda stronghold of Tall Afar, soldiers of the 1st and 3rd U.S. Special Forces Groups, soldiers of the Blue Platoon, Grim Troop, Sabre Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and Iraqi special forces of the 36th Commando Brigade and soldiers of the 2nd Iraqi Army Division search for insurgents in Tall Afar, Ninawa governorate, Iraq on Sept. 4, 2005. On days two and three of the attack, the soldiers cleared Shiite Turkoman civilians from their homes in the city's south. Their homes line what U.S. planners dubbed 'Route Corvette'. Soon, combat engulfed the forces' northern advance towards 'Route Barracuda', the gateway to the al Qaeda stronghold in the Sarai district, as insurgents engaged them with sniper fire and RPGs from rooftops and windows along the ancient winding laneways. Civilians not yet cleared were caught in the
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