US Military Helicopter Crashes in
March 20, 2003 08:10 AM ET
- A U.S. military Special Operations helicopter made a crash
landing in southern Iraq early on Thursday but the crew and
elite troops aboard were rescued, U.S. officials said.
The crash of the helicopter -- believed to be an upgraded
MH-53 special operations aircraft -- occurred before bombing
and cruise missile raids were launched against targets on the
outskirts of Baghdad, the officials told Reuters.
The officials refused to say exactly where the "hard
landing" occurred, but suggested that the helicopter would be
destroyed to keep it from falling into Iraqi hands. One
official said the helicopter was part of a drive to get elite
troops into areas of Iraq ahead of a major ground invasion "at
the appropriate time."
The Pentagon refused comment. "We do not discuss any
operational incidents," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon
spokesman, in response to questions.