Jihadists using civilian women and children as human shields against US firepower:
" ...A woman and three small children emerge uncertainly from behind a building, little more than a shack. They stare at the approaching armour. After a few seconds they retreat from view; then the process is repeated. The third time they emerge, a fighter is crouching behind them with a rocket-propelled grenade aimed at Jankow's Bradley. The group disappears.
"There is a long pause, a moment of excruciating moral conflict for the soldiers and for the gunner in particular.
"Not to shoot would be to imperil their own lives or those of their colleagues, both American and Iraqi. To shoot would be to risk killing civilians who have been shoved in front of their guns to shield insurgent fighters.
"Suddenly, the decision is made, announced by the Bradley opening fire with four rounds from its 25mm gun, blasting a large hole in the corner of the building. Three bodies fall into view.
For a sickening few seconds it seems inconceivable that the woman and her children are not among the dead. A silence descends on the vehicle. But the bodies are those of men."
Read the entire Guardian story here: