Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The map below shows the location of the three helicopters have been shot down in near Taji, a Sunni suburb northwest of Baghdad, in the last two weeks.

An insurgent group which calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for the three attacks, all of which involved shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The group is said to have Al-Qaeda links. The number of people involved in these incidents is probably quite small. The US military's state of denial over these crashes is really disturbing:
But a senior American military official said the crash appeared to have been caused by mechanical problems. Other Marine aircraft were close enough to see the Sea Knight when it crashed, the official said.Whichever proves to be the cause, American officials have grown concerned that helicopters may now be much more vulnerable to insurgents, even when the insurgents are not armed with the kinds of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles used against military aircraft in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The other four American helicopters shot down in recent weeks were felled by small-arms fire, not by missiles, according to Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Now contrast the General Thinking with what eyewitnesses reported:
“I looked at the sky and saw this big helicopter with double rotors, and it was hit in its tail and burning,” said the witness, who declined to give his name. He said another helicopter with a single rotor was flying just behind the stricken one.
Who do you believe? Including the Blackhawk which was shot down in Diyala, at least 21 people, amongst them two colonels, one major, one captain, two regimental first sergeants, the Army's first female command sergeant major, and the chief medical surgeon for all of Iraq were lost. Effective leadership would admit there's a problem with SAMs in the area and either secure it, fly high over it, or around it. This would better prepare air mobile personnel in Iraq when and if Iran retaliates by giving SA-18 SAMs to Shiite militias and Iraqi army units.

No comments: