by user Right Truth
The United States has suffered the loss of five helicopters in just three weeks in Iraq. The loss of the pilots is felt by every patriotic American, but the terrorists rejoice with each downed chopper. Each 'shoot down' is video taped and posted in terrorist internet sites. Claiming bragging rights this time is the defense air brigade of the Islamic state of Iraq who claim they 'shot down a Chinook helicopter in the Karma region of Anbar province, near Falluja.'
The U.S. military has said the chopper was a CH-46 Sea Knight, not a Chinook.
"And hundreds of people, at least, watched it burn and their voices shouted, 'God is great,' thanking God," the Web posting says.
It continues, "And we say to the enemy of God that these are the proofs of God's conquest that he bestowed upon us so all thanks and praises are due to Him."
The posting is signed by "the Ministry of Information/Islamic State in Iraq."
Four U.S. helicopters -- three military and one civilian -- were shot down in Iraq between January 20 and Friday, raising concerns that insurgents are becoming more proficient at downing the aircraft.
Sixteen U.S. troops died in the three military chopper crashes, and five employees of the Blackwater private security company were killed January 23 when their helicopter came under heavy fire in eastern Baghdad. (source, emphasis mine)
An Iraqi air force officer said today's chopper was downed by an anti-aircraft missile . Gen. Peter Pace said the choppers were shot down by 'small arms fire' and not 'missiles', nixing recent articles stating "that enemy forces have achieved some higher level of capability with shoulder-fired missiles."
A witness statement:
"The helicopter was flying and passed over us, then we heard the firing of a missile," said Mohammad al-Janabi, a farmer who was speaking less than a kilometer (half a mile) from the wreckage. "The helicopter, then, turned into a ball of fire. It flew in a circle twice, then it went down."
Iraqi insurgents have used heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and shouldered-fired SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles throughout the Iraq conflict. U.S. officials believe Iran is supplying Shiite militias with new weapons including more powerful roadside bombs, Katysuha rockets and a newer class of rocket-propelled grenades. ( source)
The Islamic State in Iraq, is described as an umbrella group of several Sunni insurgent groups, including Al Qaeda in Iraq.
The Fwench weigh in on the violence in Iraq, blaming the US and UK of course:
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told London's Financial Times that the U.S. should pull its troops out of Iraq within a year and called the proposal to send more troops to the war-ravaged nation "absurd." He further called foreign troops the "founding stone of the crisis," according to the newspaper. "If you do not say that in one year there will be no more American or British troops in Iraq, nothing will happen in Iraq except more deaths and crises. Why? Because no one is taking responsibility and even some people are fueling the crisis," de Villepin told the Financial Times. (source)