MSNBC's account of the Battle of Donkey Island describes a meeting engagement between a patrol of three Humvees and an assault team of 40 highly motivated and trained al-Qaeda fighters trying to position themselves for an attack on Ramadi. It was basically an infantry duel using the organic weapons available to both the sides. No artillery or aerial support was used by the US side. Neither of the small units engaged withdrew. They contested the battlefield until one side was annhilated. Reinforcements appeared to come from local US response units. As history it is a snapshot of the state of 2 small infantry units encountering each other on the Iraqi battlefield.
Anyone who is looking for proof of a demoralized US Army or a shattered al-Qaeda will be disappointed. Both sides fought as well as could be humanly expected. The MSNBC article dwells in great on the discipline, training and determination of the al-Qaeda men. The enemy moved with tactical finesse; they did not break even when they took heavy casualties from the US troops; they resisted, like the Japanese in World War 2, to the point of death. But the performance of the US troops was absolutely amazing, a fact that is even more impressive because it was combat between a numerically inferior US unit against an elite enemy force using organic weapons. They held their position, maneuvered for advantage and were never even remotely at the point of panic or breaking.
Of course, once the local American reinforcements arrived the al-Qaeda unit was doomed, but their fate was sealed earlier. The three Humveee patrol fixed, disrupted and cut up a force three to four times their size and immobilized an enemy unit that saw its mission change instantly from the infiltration of Ramadi to surviving. It's an amazing story.