— BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi military spokesman said on
Thursday that a U.S. helicopter had been shot down as U.S. and
British forces mounted a major offensive against the country, Iraqi
state television said.
"An American aircraft of the Sikorsky type used in carrying
troops and equipment was downed as it was trying to infiltrate Iraqi
airspace to carry out aggressive operations. Long live Iraq," the
spokesman said in a statement read on television.
The Iraqi statement gave no further details.
U.S. military officials were not immediately available for
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. manufactures the Black Hawk helicopter,
which is used by U.S. forces to fly troops into combat.
U.S. officials confirmed on Thursday that units of the U.S Marine
1st Expeditionary Force had crossed from Kuwait into southern Iraq
to begin securing positions for a thrust northward by U.S. and
British troops massed in Kuwait near the border.
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