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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
My war: The sniper
Sergeant Eddie Waring

Sergeant Eddie Waring was at the sharp end of the British assault on Basra. He led a sniper platoon which infiltrated the city while the Iraqi army was still in control.

When a British raid goes into enemy territory, my sniper team goes along with the armoured vehicles. The other soldiers fan out and sweep the area, then get back in their Warriors and leave. We stay put.

The idea is that in all the confusion, the Iraqis wouldn't notice that not all the men who drove in drove back out again.

In Basra, we were the British Army's eyes on the ground. We would take up a position in a tall building and log the number of enemy soldiers and weapons we could see.

We had to keep concealed. We'd stay away from the windows as we went up through a building on the way to the roof. Once up there, we'd stay low.

I've killed three Iraqis, and have another unconfirmed shooting
Sergeant Eddie Waring

At one of our rooftop observation points, the enemy came back into the building and were moving around the floors below us.

We stayed still and prepared to call in the bods from the rest of the Irish Guards to get the Iraqis.

If things get serious - as they can in that sort of situation - we can call out a rapid reaction force to help extract us. If we can't wait for them, we fight our own way out.

As well as observing the enemy, we also start taking out opportune targets.

I've killed three Iraqis, and have another unconfirmed shooting. Many military weapons are designed to cause injury, but that's not the case with our sniper weapons. We don't shoot to wound.

Risky work

The three Iraqis I killed were putting out anti-tank mines. I was taking a life to save lives. Each man would have caused casualties to my comrades if I hadn't have fired.

I enjoy this work because the sniper platoon is allowed more independence than other units in the Irish Guards. We're a bit more trusted by the officers to get on with things.

The platoon has bonded during the war. We've been living so closely and watching each other's backs that we've really been brought closer together and trust each other.

In a wider way, the deaths of two Irish Guards has really brought the whole regiment together.

We were deployed when they were killed. We were facing the other way, towards the enemy and where the main threat was coming from, when we heard the call on the radio.

We tried to swing around, but we just couldn't get a shot.


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