Al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the downing of a US military helicopter near the northern city of Mosul which killed two pilots.
“Our lions in Mosul … succeeded to shoot down a US helicopter on Friday by targeting it with medium-sized weapons,” said an Internet statement attributed to al Qaeda.
The statement’s authenticity could not be verified but it was posted on a Web site often used by insurgents.
Witnesses reported seeing gunmen armed with heavy machine guns open fire on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, a two-seat, single-engine helicopter, in al-Sukar district north of Mosul, about 240 miles north of Baghdad.
It was the second U.S. helicopter to crash in Iraq in less than a week. A military UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed last weekend, killing all 12 aboard in one of the worst incidents of its kind since the war began in 2003.
The US military believes the Black Hawk may have been brought down by bad weather, but the cause is still under investigation…