Super Cobra Down In Iraq, Chinook Allegedly Fired On In
Two incidents involving
US helicopters -- one with fatalities -- in Iraq and Pakistan share
a common thread of potentially involving ground fire, although
neither case can be confirmed.
In Iraq Wednesday, a US Marine AH-1W Super Cobra (file photo of
type, right) went down near Ramadi, west of Baghdad, killing the
two soldiers onboard. The cause of the incident has yet to be
determined and is currently under investigation, although witnesses
claim the copter came under fire from the ground before it went
down, according to Reuters.
"The incident occurred while the two-man crew was flying in
support of security and stabilization operations," the U.S.
In a separate incident the day before, a CH-47 Chinook (below)
participating in relief flights in Pakistan is believed to have
come under fire by a rocket-propelled grenade as the helicopter
ferried supplies to earthquake victims in the town of Chakoti --
near the disputed Indian/Pakistani border in the Himalayas.
"The aircraft was not hit and returned safely with its crew,"
said Capt. Rob Newell, spokesman for US military relief efforts in
the region, to the Associated Press.
While the US pledged to continue supply flights in the region as
needed, a Pakistani army spokesman claimed no grenade was launched
at the US helicopter, instead claiming the crew may have heard
explosive charges used by engineers nearby to clear a road.
"The blast was huge enough to kick up dust, which the pilot
probably misunderstood as rocket fire," Pakistani spokesman Maj.
Gen. Shaukat Sultan said, adding Pakistani soldiers found no
evidence of a rocket launch after searching the area after the
reported attack, and witnesses on the ground did not see a rocket
Even as most Pakistanis have expressed gratitude for U.S. help,
rumors have increasingly circulated in the region that U.S. troops
are taking the opportunity to take pictures of Pakistan's nuclear
facilities, or to search for al-Qaida militants.