(CBS) When the Crazyhorse troop of the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry were given the mission to rescue Dr. Quraish Fajir al-Kasir, they were expecting the worst. The target house was on Haifa Street , where they were attacked just last week, before intense fighting erupted here between Sunni gunmen and Iraqi forces.
Last night, al-Kasir, one of the terrified residents, told CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan he was trapped. “You can’t leave?” Logan asked him in a telephone interview.
“No,” he said. “It’s difficult to go. They will kill you because any moving object will be shot.”
Al-Kasir is a famous Iraqi surgeon, once the guest of President Bush at the White House, now hiding with his family in a dark bathroom for eight days, shivering from cold and hunger:
“I have saved so many people in surgery,” he told Logan. “I have done a lot for the people here. Why I should be killed? Why? I don’t know why.”
Today, after our report was broadcast, and with the help of America’s ambassador to
Iraq, Captain John Gilliam and his men answered the family’s desperate plea for help.
The soldiers rushed the family to the safety of a waiting Bradley armored fighting vehicle, knowing an attack could come at any moment. Then, in a moment of relief, al-Kasir blew a kiss of gratitude that said it all.
Within minutes, the family reached the safety of the heavily fortified Green Zone just a short distance away.
“Thank you American military, thank you people, thank you very much,” said al-Kasir.
For their rescuers, it was a rare pleasure.
“It’s really good to see a family that we could save and make sure they didn’t get hurt while we are out here,” said Sgt. Nicholas Skelton of the Crazyhorse Troop.
Tonight the doctor’s family, so grateful for their safety, say their only sadness is knowing there are so many other families still trapped and terrified on Haifa Street
To watch the news video – http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2358907n