Michael Yon is an independent writer, photographer and former Green Beret who was embedded in Iraq for nine months in 2005. He has returned to Iraq for 2007 to continue reporting on the war. Here is a portion of his latest dispatch for FOXNews.com.

The plan for Operation Arezzo was cleverly contrived. While Americans count on helicopter support for deliberate high-intensity combat here, the Brits were going into extremely hostile terrain, were outnumbered and did not have helicopter support, relying instead upon timing, terrain, maneuverability, firepower and sheer audacity.

In combat, luck can be a decisive factor, but Murphy’s Law remains in effect. For Operation Arezzo, the risks of something going catastrophically wrong were apparent at the outset. The soldiers in 5 Platoon had never conducted such an operation — in broad daylight — but Lt. Col. Maciejewski intended to show the enemy that even in their strongest bastion, outnumbered British forces could strike into their heart and inflict heavy losses.

Shortly before the mission, as soldiers from 5 Platoon disassembled their weapons for cleaning (again), performed functions checks, the tone of the music coming out of their speakers changed. As with American combat forces, before embarking on a deliberate fight, the music became more rousing and to the bone. For Operation Arezzo, the pre-battle tune was Gimme Shelter, by the Rolling Stones:

War, Children, it's just a shot away

It's just a shot away

War, Children, it's just a shot away

It's just a shot away

With all the emphasis on timing, 5 Platoon and others (including me) conducted rehearsals just hours before the strike yesterday. Getting to the al Quibla district in one piece was far from certain as we loaded into vehicles and rumbled out into JAM country. Some IEDs (improvised explosive devices) buried in roads here are so large they would completely destroy the Bulldog tracked vehicle in which we were riding. Just last week a formidable Challenger tank was destroyed by an explosion that also cost the driver his legs. Days before, four British soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter had been killed at the same place when a similar bomb detonated.

As we rumbled through the dry, desert heat, the smells of Iraq — nearly all of them bad — wafted down from the top hatch. Suddenly, the Bulldog was filled with a stench so awful that soldiers nearly gagged, as if everything that could rot in Iraq had gone rotten all at once. Where just moments before there was only dusty air in the compartment, in a flash it was filled with that horrendous, fetid stench and a swarm of flies. When, a few minutes later, the stench was suddenly replaced by smoke from outside, dozens of flies remained in the compartment.

Click here to read Michael Yon's full report from Iraq.