by February 13 2015 8:03 PM
American helicopters engaged Islamic State group fighters in Iraq on Friday, according to CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto. The deployment of helicopter gunships comes days after U.S. President Barack Obama submitted a request to Congress for authorization to wage war against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.
Helicopter gunships engaged fighters in al-Baghdadi, an area almost completely controlled by ISIS. The U.S. has led a coalition of Western and Arab nations to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq since June 2014 and in Syria since September 2014 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Those airstrikes have consisted of long-range bombing and missile strikes from fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopter operations would require pilots to fly much closer to the combat area.
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US Apache Helicopters Attack ISIS Base: Report.
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‘Empty every round’: US helicopter gunships headed toward ISIS stronghold near al-Baghdadi
Jim Sciutto, CNN’s chief national security correspondent, is reporting Friday night that U.S. helicopter gunships have been deployed to engage ISIS in the al-Baghdadi district, 90 percent of which has fallen under the control of the insurgents, according to Reuters.