AAM: Conditions in Ramadi
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Let's turn to Iraq now where two marines were killed yesterday in Anbar province west of Baghdad. CNN's Michael Ware is embedded with American forces in Ramadi. He says al-Qaeda operatives and other insurgents are not letting up in their attacks. Hey, Michael, good morning. Tell us a little bit about what it's like for the troops there who you're with.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, this very much is the tip end of the-- not just the war in Iraq but the war against al-Qaeda. Here in Ramadi, in al-Anbar province, the very same place where the two marines have died in the past three days, we're standing at a marine base. This site here is dominated by al-Qaeda. Local insurgent groups have been hijacked and are being led and are being intimidated and forced down the al-Qaeda line. So this is literally where Marines and soldiers come face to face with al-Qaeda on a daily basis.
Now, we visited the soldiers and Marines in the city of Ramadi in these combat outposts. Small, little -- like little Fort Apaches deep inside al-Qaeda territory. In these places living is tough. These kids, some of them are lucky if they see a shower once every couple of weeks. They get a lukewarm meal once a day. They burn their own refuse. They burn their own human waste. These kids are working on three hours on, three hours off shifts and they're fighting almost every day.
Just earlier from here this morning a platoon-- a convoy went out; they came back with three guys wounded. They're all going to be okay but their vehicle is damaged and three of them were slightly wounded. Here in Ramadi on this al-Qaeda front line, the brigades are suffering on average 100 killed in action every year. And there's one particular battalion of Marines here, 3/8 battalion, they've suffered 17 killed in action in seven months. Now that's 5- or 600 men, when some brigades of 5,000 don't suffer that many losses in a year. Soledad?
O'BRIEN: Well, it's amazing. Michael Ware for us this morning. Thanks, Michael. Michael Ware, in Baghdad, good to see you again, Mick. Thanks very much.