I’ve always assumed that there were plenty of artillery pieces laying around Iraq, left over from Saddam’s powerful land-based forces. But I also assumed that the insurgency would never use proper artillery because of American air superiority. It’s one thing to pop off a few mortar rounds or let fly with an RPG and then disappear with your easily concealable weapon. It’s quite another thing to set up and fire an artilery peice, then take it down and get it into hiding before a US Cobra attack helipcopter eliminates you.
But now it looks like all bets are off.
Baghdad, May 17, (VOI) – A U.S. helicopter was destroyed, while damage was reported to nine others in an artillery attack on Sunday on the Taji Camp, north of Baghdad, a source close to the Multi-National Force in Iraq (MNF) said.
“The ten helicopters were landed at the camp,” the source, who requested his name not be mentioned, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) today.
According to the source, an official spokesman for the U.S. defense department confirmed the attack today.
However, the source did not indicate whether any casualties arose from the attack, or refer to the group behind it.
This is the first time for the U.S. army to announce the destruction of some of its helicopters, which were landed at one of its bases, as a result of a missile or artillery attack since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.