DUBAI, (Reuters) – An al-Qaeda-backed group on Friday released an Internet video of what it said was the shooting down of a U.S. helicopter in Iraq this week, which killed seven military personnel.
The video, posted on a Web site used by insurgents, showed an apparent missile hitting the helicopter. The footage also showed the plane pulling away while trailing smoke before being engulfed in flames and crashing behind distant trees.
The U.S. military said it had no immediate comment but was checking the video of the crash of the Marine transport helicopter, one of six helicopter that came down in Iraq in three weeks.
The insurgent group — the Islamic State in Iraq — on Wednesday claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter in eastern Anbar province. U.S. officials said then they were probing the crash of a Marine transport helicopter in Anbar.
The video’s soundtrack carried militant chants and what appeared to be an old speech by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “Do not seek the advice of anyone about killing Americans. Press ahead with the blessing of God,” said the speaker who sounded like bin Laden.