The engagement occured in August 2007, northwest of Balad, Iraq. After the completion of an unrelated air support mission of a "cordon and search", our team of two AH-64Ds were headed back to our homebase, FOB Speicher. We noticed that there were large fires ahead in the distance along our flightpath, and decided to investigate. We came across approximately 15 armed individuals, leaving an area in which they had set houses and cars on fire. After confirming through the US ground commander responsible for that particular area that these were not US troops, Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, or friendly local militias, we were authorized to engage after following them to their own encampment. The weapon in the back of the truck destroyed by the Helllfire missile was believed to be a Soviet made DShK 12.7mm used in the strike on the town. The reason that the town was attacked by these men, is that it was a Sunni rejectionist community. That is, they rejected Al-Qaeda, even though they also are Sunni Muslims. Al-Qaeda was trying to force the town into compliance through fear. I just regret that we didn't stumble upon them before the damage was already done.