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2 U.S. HELICOPTERS DOWNED, 30 MORE RETREAT

"With a hail of small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, Iraqi forces downed two Apache helicopters today and forced 30 other helicopters in their brigade back to their base," the New York Times reports.The Apaches, from the U.S. Army Fifth Corps 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, had been targeting the Republican Guard's tanks in Kerbala, 70 miles southwest of Baghdad. The helicopters use the sophisticated Longbow fire control radar to target opposing forces.

But the Apaches are suddenly coming under attack from relatively low-technology weaponry...Brig. General Benjamin Freakly (assistant commander of the 101st Division) said that in an attack like the one on the helicopters, "you have 10 guys lying on top of a building firing R.P.G.'s and small arms. You can go in and bomb that building and reduce it to rubble,'' but at the potential cost of many civilian lives.The Army now may consider new tactics, such as additional close aerial bombardment, to support the Apaches as they hunt for armored divisions.
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