U.S. Forces Suffer Losses in Iraq, Afghanistan
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2003 - Fifteen U.S. soldiers were killed and 21 were wounded
when a coalition helicopter went down near the city of Amiryah, Iraq, at about
9 a.m. local time today. This was the single deadliest attack on coalition
forces since President Bush announced the end of major combat in Iraq.
The helicopter, a CH-47 Chinook, was transporting personnel to
the Baghdad International Airport when the incident happened, U.S.
Central Command officials said. The aircraft was assigned to
the 12th Aviation Brigade,
which was operating in support of the 82d Airborne Division Task Force.
An aerial quick-reaction force was immediately dispatched to
the scene, and a ground force secured the site.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated to nearby medical facilities.
Names of the dead and injured are being withheld pending next-of-kin
notification, officials said. A military spokesman said witnesses
reported seeing missile trails, but that an investigation would
determine the official cause of the crash.
Appearing on the ABC News program "This Week," Defense Secretary
Donald H. Rumsfeld said today is a tragic day, but that such days
are necessary. "They're part of a war that is difficult and complicated," he
Earlier in the morning, a 1st
Armored Division soldier died at about 3:45 a.m. from wounds
suffered from an improvised
explosive device explosion in Baghdad. The soldier's vehicle
struck the device shortly after midnight while responding to
a separate incident. A soldier wounded in the incident was evacuated
to the 28th Combat Support Hospital.
Officials are investigating these incidents, as well as the death
of five other soldiers who were killed in Iraq and one who died
in Afghanistan between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1. Another soldier died
of a nonhostile gunshot wound Oct. 28 in Iraq.
On Nov. 1, two soldiers of the Army's 101st Airborne Division (Air
Assault) were killed and two were wounded in an improvised
explosive device roadside attack at about 7:30 a.m. in Mosul,
Iraq's third-largest city, according to Central Command officials.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated to the 21st Combat Support
Hospital, which is deployed to the Middle East from Fort Hood,
Central Command reported that one 82nd Airborne Division soldier
was killed and four were wounded in an improvised explosive device
attack in the Khaladiyah area, west of Baghdad, at about 8:45 a.m.
On Oct. 30, a U.S. soldier died from wounds received in a firefight
between Afghan militia forces, coalition special operations forces
and a 10- to 15- member anti-coalition element about 35 miles west
of Deh Rawood in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. An Afghan militia
force soldier also was wounded in the contact. Both soldiers were
medically evacuated by helicopter to Kandahar Airfield.
On Oct. 28, two 4th Infantry
Division soldiers were killed and one was wounded when their
tank hit an unidentified explosive device 40 kilometers northeast
of Balad, Iraq, at about 7 p.m. Early that morning, an 82nd Airborne
Division soldier died of a nonhostile gunshot wound at a forward
operating base near Fallujah, Iraq, at about 12:10 a.m.
The day before, a 1st Armored Division soldier was killed and
six were wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Baghdad
at about 10 a.m.
In his Nov.
1 weekly radio address, President Bush said, "Some of the
killers behind these attacks are loyalists of the Saddam regime
who seek to regain power and who resent Iraq's new freedoms." He
said others are foreigners who have traveled to Iraq to spread
fear and chaos, and to prevent the emergence of a successful
democracy in the heart of the Middle East.
Bush said the attackers may have different long-term goals, but
they share a near-term strategy: to intimidate Iraqis from building
a free government, and to cause America and its allies to abandon