They reached the intersection, and saw one man in the distance to their left. Luckily, he didn’t see them in the alleyway. Then, a second man, wearing brown tunic and a black hat, turned the corner. He was maybe five feet from the snipers. His eyes widened with surprise.

“I gave him half a second. He swung around his AK,” said Worth, who was carrying a Benelli 1014 shotgun. “Then I put four buckshot rounds in his chest.” Rue added a few more shots. The man crumpled to the ground.

A third man in a white robe was in the distance, about 150 feet to the north. He raised his AK-47 and fired at the snipers. Steinbacker dropped to one knee and shot the man with his M4. He dropped.

Almost immediately, a barrage of bullets came flying in directly at the snipers, from the cornfields in the west and from the trees to the east. Clearly, there were more than four militants on the area. Many, many more. And some of them could shoot.