The dust settled, revealing a star blanketed sky. It was about 3 a.m. Orion could be seen, but here, the celestial warrior stretched horizontal. The half moon illuminated furrows from farming and a plateau jutting from the mostly flat land. Beyond the plateau ahead of us, sparse lights from a distant village could be seen.
Within the plateau, the soldiers spotted an unexpected light. This caused concern and the soldiers stood fast with their rifles ready. It was possible this light could be from a fire inside a cave.
Soldiers immediately moved to investigate the light. The Iraqi Army and a small squad from the 1st Platoon, B Co., 1-25th Stryker Brigade led the way, beginning a mission that would continue past dawn.