A teenage US servicewoman who was presumed dead in Iraq has been rescued ten days after going missing in action.
Nineteen-year-old supply clerk Jessica Lynch has two broken legs, a broken arm and multiple gunshot wounds but is said to be stable.
She was rescued from a hospital when special forces stormed the building. The bodies of two unidentified American soldiers and eight Iraqi militia were also found in the building.
What's your reaction to the news?
This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.
I wept with relief on hearing of the rescue of Jessica Lynch.
I send all my best wishes to her, her family and her colleagues. God bless them all.
Obviously it goes without saying that everyone is thankful Jessica is back home
Bunty Pritchard Jones, West Yorkshire. UK.
Whatever your politics, one has to find some cause for rejoicing that this young girl's life was spared.
I think Jessica's rescue is great. I just hope this war is over quick and very few people are killed. Once the Iraqis feel freedom they will thank us.
Ross , USA
The episode brought my attention to the blatant inhumanity of world leaders, who are willing to send 19 year old girls into battle.
Obviously it goes without saying that everyone is thankful Jessica is back home. In addition, anyone that I know also feels extreme compassion for the people of Iraq. Anyone who truly believes this regime is not cruel, should go and live under it. Many of us seem to forget how fortunate we are to live where we live because we are allowed to speak our minds and have the freedom of choice. Why should the Iraqi people not be given the same opportunities that many of us enjoy.
A single US POW is rescued against the deaths of children in a hospital. Until the day the US start treating every member of the human race as equals, they should go back to the States, close the door and leave the rest of the World alone.
Newcastle - Tyne & Wear
Aleen (UK) wondered "how a teenager like her could be sent to the Iraq war." Aleen (and the rest of us) should visit the nearest veteran's cemetery and look at the gravestones.
No matter which Army or conflict, you will be saddened to find that plenty of 19-year-olds who have died in service to their country.
At least we can be pleased to know that Jessica Lynch won't be one of them.
I'm staggered to see how different the opinions are based on whether people are from the US or the UK (or anywhere else). It seems some people will never say anything good about the USA no matter what. Well done to the troops involved and get well soon Jessica. Heroes each and every one of them.
I am really confused. I understood from Bart (below) now that the US is fully complying with Geneva Convention? I thought the US was invading Iraq without resolution from the Security Council. I think the Special Forces were brave enough to save Jessica. If the world leaders had the same bravery they would have been saved the thousands of victims in this war.
Joseph Stalin once said "one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic", what do the Americans think happened to the Iraqi civilians
in the hospital? How many died or were severely injured in the fire fight? One American life is not worth an Iraqis or British or in fact anyone in the world.
It is wonderful news the Jessica Lynch is alive and in a stable condition, especially for her family who must have feared the worse.
Although we don't have conclusive proof at the moment, as I understand it Jessica most likely received her wounds during the ambush in which she was captured. That was over a week ago, yet the Iraqi doctors kept her alive despite her injuries, I would say that was humane treatment.
John Cook, Yorkshire, UK
How many Iraqi lives did it cost to save this blond and blue-eyed woman? I am glad she is alive but at what cost to others whose lives seem to be expendable.
I am glad she is alive but at what cost to others whose lives seem to be expendable
Being a native West Virginian, I am so very delighted and thankful for this rescue. A combined effort of the NAVY Seals and ARMY Rangers has resulted in this rescue. I can only hope and pray for other POW's
Mike C, The United States of America
If the US had a program to allow students to work in low income public schools in exchange for tuition, Jessica could have gone straight to teaching, not have gotten caught up in the military, in a attempt to get an education and better her life.
It makes a great news story - bravado, heroes, special forces etc. The reality was that more Iraqis died, a hospital was invaded by military shooting. The benefit was that she now rests in a US hospital rather than a Iraqi hospital. More Iraqi blood to lubricate the US media machine.
Mat, California, US
In reading the reactions to Jessica's brilliant rescue, can we all not simply keep in mind that someone's child was saved? I ache for all the mothers, on both sides of this war, that must endure the loss of their sons and daughters. A mother's love bears no boundaries to race. I only hope for a speedy end to the reign of terror that has been forced upon the good people of Iraq. May they soon prevail and live in peace and prosperity. Welcome home Jessica.
It is good news that one more life has been spared. Let's hope the rest of the world feels this passionately about the seven women and children killed needlessly in the name of "self defence" and so vehemently defended by the U.S. administration.
R. Algasr, Cairo Egypt
The rescue instils a sense of pride that we are taking care of our own and are making it a priority. I wish a speedy recovery to Jessica and commend the Special Forces.
It's a great feeling when you know that a life is saved in such a brave act.
I a very happy she was rescued, but I had no doubt that our guys would get her back. USA does not leave our heroes behind! It's the code this country lives by.
To say that western media is more biased than Iraqi TV is an interesting point. Yes, the majority of western media has to be taken with a wee pinch of salt at times, but at least it is not entirely controlled by the repressive desires of a ruling elite.
The majority of western media has to be taken with a wee pinch of salt at times, but at least it is not entirely controlled by the repressive desires of a ruling elite
Of course it's good news that she's been brought out alive, but the bravado of the US military saying 'we never leave our heroes behind' is staggering given the 'is he or isn't he' story that broke this week about the Gulf War pilot now rumoured to still be a PoW in Iraq.
This may seem cold-hearted but frankly what makes her life anymore important then say an innocent Iraqis? As Bryan from the UK pointed out, she was there by CHOICE, the non-military Iraqi people have NO choice. Let's try and get some perspective on this issue.
Rashdia, London, UK
Welcome home Jessica!
Welcome home Jessica!
American Special Forces are incredible. Now we know why the Iraqis won't allow the Red Cross/Crescent visit POWs. You will see that those other 11 soldiers they found dead were tortured and killed. By comparison... the British and American are freely allowing the Red Cross to visit and interview Iraqi POWs and they are fully complying with the Geneva Convention. This murderous bloody regime's days are numbered.
After all this propaganda I hope some school
will give Jessica a full scholarship so that she
her dreams of being a teacher. She joined the
military because she did not
have the money to go to college.
What a trauma a poor girl in the USA had to go
through to become teacher.
Thank God for the special forces and for the life of the POW.
Omar, United Kingdom
You have to ask why the Americans do not give all their operatives basic military training so that they at least have a chance in these situations - Jessica is a civvy, pure and simple. Rumsfeld is happy to stretch his supply lines to breaking point, against the advice of the military, yet will not even give weapons to all those in the convoys.
Redhill, Surrey, UK
I am absolutely delighted that Jessica has been rescued. It's great to hear some good news coming out of Iraq.
Victoria, South Korea
I wonder how a teenager like her could be sent to the Iraq war. The experience she went through will affect her for the rest of her life. War leaders, how brutal you are.
I wish Jessica a good life and am hoping that she might become a peace representative one day after her experience in Iraq.
Mohammad Atef, Australia
I was surprised by this. Surely an armed attack on a hospital is against the articles of war? How careful were they to avoid collateral damage? It is good to know someone is safe, but she was being treated in a hospital wasn't she? Surely the treatment of the numerous civilian casualties even more important?
Surely an armed attack on a hospital is against the articles of war?
MA Jones, UK
She is alive and on her way home to her family. For her and them this is good. But from all accounts the power in the hospital was turned off and the military fought their way to get her. It makes me wonder how many sick and injured Iraqis died to make this operation a success. Can one American life justify more deaths in a rescue?
What a stupid question. Any life saved is a blessing, be it American, British or Iraqi.
For such a politically correct country this US rescue does seem bizarre. How much did the operation including the diversion cost? $500,000? Would they and have they spent that on rescuing one male soldier?
David Newark, South Africa
Absolutely brilliant!! To be saved in those circumstances is a credit to the forces but where did all those gunshot wounds come from? Thankfully the Iraq hospital staff seemed to look after her but what else would you expect from responsible people? It's such a shame that their regime as a whole is not as humane. God bless her and her family.
To be saved in those circumstances is a credit to the forces
It is of course wonderful news. And yet so odd that she hails from 'Palestine', West Virginia. Truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction!
Ian Campbell, Japan (Canadian)
I was raised in Jessica's home state of West Virginia. I'm thrilled to learn that she is safe. However, there is an aspect that has not been reported. Jessica joined the armed forces not because she wanted to be a soldier, but because there were so few jobs in her home state. She saw the military as a chance to get an education and fulfil her real dream of being a teacher.
This is the case for many recruits in poverty-stricken Appalachia. While our first concern must of course be with the humanitarian situation in Iraq, it is important to remember that many of the Americans fighting there are victims of circumstance in their own way.
Laura Brown, UK
I wish I could have seen Jessica's face when she realised she was being rescued. It's hard to imagine what she must have been through over the past days and I wish her a speedy recovery from her injuries. Jessica and her rescuers are all heroes and will inspire any subsequent prisoners to keep heart and not give up.
I wish I could have seen Jessica's face
God bless Jessica, she must have an angel watching over her.
I'm glad she's safe. Perhaps in the interests of non-biased reporting, the media can give so much coverage to each individual Iraqi soldier that gets killed or captured?
Getting beyond the incredible relief which her parents must feel, let's not forget that she is just one person, no more important than any other victim of the war. In fact, as a member of a professional army, she was there by choice, unlike the nameless Iraqi civilians and conscripts whose sufferings do not receive individual media attention.
I hope that PFC Lynch recovers from her wounds and that she is able to return to duty. At the very least they should meritoriously promote her and get her a good assignment. I certainly hope she chooses to stay in the army. The preliminary news is that the captured maintenance personnel performed quite well. PFC Lynch was only a nineteen-year-old parts clerk. That is something to think about.
I certainly hope she chooses to stay in the army
Patrick (Cawley) Moskal,
West Chicago, USA
Patrick (Cawley) Moskal, West Chicago, IL, USA
Call me sceptical, but how much of this was a rescue and how much part of a 'deal' to allow food convoys to the 30,000 stranded troops outside Iraq?
Chris Parker, London, UK
Finding POWs are like finding treasures in the haystack. It's the best piece of news for loved ones.
Lynch and her parents must have realised how dangerous the war can be. It brings misery and suffering. Americans, I hope will have the same feelings for innocent Iraqis.
Ashok Bhasin, India
It shows Iraqis are not as ruthless as we would like to think. The girl does not seem too badly harmed, they could have easily killed her.
To Kami, China: Do you really think that the two broken legs, a broken arm and multiple gunshot wounds suffered by Jessica Lynch qualifies the description "not too badly harmed"?
Kami, a live POW is worth more to the Iraqis than a dead one - that's why they didn't kill her.
While delighted for Jessica's family and friends, I question the circumstances of her rescue. CNN reports that Jessica suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the rescue. Is this another friendly fire incident? As near as it's possible to tell, Jessica was in hospital, being treated for broken limbs, until the US special forces decided to mount their mission!
Is this another friendly fire incident?
If she was being treated badly, why would the Iraqis waste valuable medical resources on her? Sure, the Iraqis could have fired the shots that injured her, and will no doubt be blamed, but ask yourself this: If the American Marines were in the building and firing at you, would you point your gun at them, or at a woman who couldn't even walk?
Why do some of you have a hard time finding joy in the rescue of a prisoner regardless of which side the soldier was on? Do some of you, like Charles from UK, really believe that she was being "humanely treated" until the Americans arrived?
I am very glad she has been rescued. I never trust Iraqis and what they could do with POWs. I have read articles about SAS soldiers captured in Iraq during the first Gulf War. If half is true, then thank God she is free now. One word to all negative comments: why is the International Red Cross not allowed to visit allied POWs? This shows how bad Iraq is.
It's great to hear she was rescued, she's alive and well and that her captors seem to have treated her humanely and properly under the Geneva Convention guidelines. I only hope the same happens for all other POWs in the war. Welcome home, Jessica.
Broken arms and legs are not the sort of injuries sustained in a fire fight. These are typical techniques used as a means of torture. It will be interesting to see what she has to say about it if and when she speaks to the public.
What about all the thousands of Iraqi soldiers that have been killed, what about their mothers and their families? The Western media is more biased than Iraqi TV.
Mo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
The rescue of Jessica is very good news; more is needed now. To Mo (Sri Lanka): I cannot recall anyone among the allies' political and army representatives calling for the blood of (each of) enemy soldiers. Which is in sharp contrast to the attitude of Iraq official propaganda.