Deadly Mistaken Identity

How could American warplanes shoot down two U.S. helicopters?

As the two helicopters sliced through the blue skies over northern Iraq last Thursday morning, a U.S. Air Force AWACS reconnaissance plane picked them up on radar. The AWACS crew immediately radioed a pair of U.S. F-15C fighters and asked them to take a closer look. Though there had been no reported violations of the no-fly zone over northern Iraq since January 1993, Iraqi helicopters had been a problem in the past, when Saddam Hussein used them to suppress the Kurdish rebellion that erupted after the Gulf War ended in 1991. The crews of the F-15Cs twice flew past the copters...

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