Military: Helicopter was shot down after all

In initial report, a senior defense official had suggested otherwise.

Published February 14, 2007 2:41PM (EST)

When seven people died in the crash of a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight north of Baghdad last week, a senior U.S. defense official said indications were that the helicopter had not been hit by enemy fire. We were skeptical then, so we're not exactly shocked to hear the truth today: "After further investigation using all available means," a U.S. military spokesman says, "the cause of the incident has been confirmed to be hostile fire."

According to the Air Force Times, the U.S. military has lost approximately 40 helicopters to "hostile action" since the war in Iraq began nearly four years ago. Seven of those helicopters -- or more than 15 percent -- have been gone down in the last four weeks.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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