A Blackhawk helicopter went down killing 12 yesterday near Talafar in Iraq. No cause for the crash has been given as yet. As noted on this site earlier, large purchases of fully automatic weapons and anti-aircraft missiles and launchers were purchased from the Tamil Tigers by al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. I hope that this incident doesn’t mark the beginning of a what could be a whole new level of lethality for US troops.
Update: Juan Cole speculates as to whether or not the Blackhawk was shot down also.
Update 2: This from Juan Cole –
The Iraqi guerrilla groups say that they only attack the Occupation forces and avoid attacks on civilians, whereas Zarqawi deliberately targets the latter, having adopted a policy of launching a war against the Shiites. His group rarely tangles with the Americans, al-Hayat says, whereas the Iraqi guerrillas killed 5 Americans over the weekend and shot down a Blackhawk helicopter near Tal Afar. [This is the first claim I know of by the ex-Baathists to have shot down the helicopter.