Saturday, January 20, 2007

"U.S. helicopter crash near Baghdad kills 13" (Borzou Daragahi, LA Times)

A U.S. helicopter crashed northeast of Baghdad today, killing all 13 crewmembers and passengers aboard, the military said.
The U.S. military also reported the deaths of three other troops in insurgent violence elsewhere in Iraq.
Iraqi officials said the crash took place near Tarefiya, a rural Sunni enclave of canals and wheat fields about six miles south of the provincial capital of Baqubah. The area is known as an insurgent stronghold.
Emergency crews secured the area, a news release said. The Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S. forces had cordoned off a vast area of farmland and sheep pasture to search for survivors.
The cause of the crash was under investigation and the names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of next of kin. But one Iraqi witness who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed the chopper was felled by ground fire. The U.S. military could not confirm that account.
"I'm not sure if it was a rocket or other projectiles," said the man, a farmer. "After the helicopter was fired upon it was obvious that it was losing control. Then it crashed with an explosion and the smoke started."

The above is from Borzou Daragahi's "U.S. helicopter crash near Baghdad kills 13" (Los Angeles Times) and it will be interesting to see how the New York Times tries to report it since it doesn't fit with their attempt to convey the (false) impression that a corner's being turned.

It's worth recalling this from Warren P. Strobel's "Middle East hasn't turned out the way Bush, Rice predicted" (McClatchy Newspapers):

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's Air Force jet, a specially equipped Boeing 757, passed west of Baghdad as she left the Middle East this week, giving those on the cabin's right-hand side a crystal-clear view of the tortured Iraqi city below.
The Green Zone, home to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's government, the U.S. Embassy compound and whatever hope remains for restoring peace, was visible. But Rice wasn't stopping.

In an update to the LA Times report on US troops announced dead, we'll note all that have been announced today (and tomorrow -- it's Sunday in Baghdad). The US military announced today: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was killed Friday as a result of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations in Ninewah Province. Two other Soldiers were wounded and transported to a Coalition Forces’ medical treatment facility." And they announced: "A Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier died when an improvised explosive device detonated near a patrol in a northern section of the Iraqi capital Jan. 20." And they announced: "One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Friday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province." Sunday, they announced: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier assigned to 105th Engineer Group, died Saturday of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while conducting combat operations in northern Iraq." They actually have three announcements on Saturday about a death in Ninewah Province. Those may be three different deaths; however, in the past, they've had to issue an "OOPS" after announcing the same death more than once so we'll treat it as the same death unless it's reported otherwise. Sunday, they also announced: "The Provincial Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) in Karbala was attacked with grenades, small arms and indirect fires by an illegally armed militia group Jan 20. Five U.S. Soldiers were killed and three wounded while repelling the attack." That's nine deaths announced, if I've counted correctly.

That doesn't include the helicopter attack which may have included civilians on board. Here's the US military announcment on that:

A US forces helicopter went down northeast of Baghdad this afternoon. Emergency Coalition Forces responded and secured the scene.
Thirteen passengers and crewmembers were aboard the aircraft and all were killed. The names of the servicemembers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.This incident is under investigation.

The following community sites have updated since yesterday morning:

Rebecca's Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Cedric's Cedric's Big Mix;
Kat's Kat's Korner;
Betty's Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Mike's Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine's Like Maria Said Paz;
Wally's The Daily Jot;
and Trina's Trina's Kitchen

Ruth's latest will go up this evening. She's written and saved to draft so that the heads up to Flanders could be the last thing showing up until Flanders' program was off. Ruth intended to write on Monday (due to the fact that I had already said there might not be a snapshot -- there wasn't) but Blogger/Blogspot was nonstop problems. Tuesday was a family birthday so she figured she'd post on Thursday but again Blogger/Blogspot problems. It does go up this evening (check after Flanders' goes off air).

Flanders? This weekend on RadioNation with Laura Flanders:

The President wants his critics to advance alternative proposals. How about a whole world of alternatives? This weekend on RadioNation, a report from the seventh annual WORLD SOCIAL FORUM which kicks off this Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya. For the first time in Africa, the Social Forum will bring together activists, artists and social movements from every continent, dedicated to building sustainable peace and rolling back the profit-not-people empire. Another World Is Possible. Find out how. Plus, the latest on the US military build up off the Horn of Africa.

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