By Kasim Ileri
WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. military has employed Apache attack helicopters for the first time in Iraq, destroying a bomb-laden Daesh vehicle, a Pentagon official confirmed Tuesday.
According to spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis, the strike occurred Monday in al-Qayyarah, a village south of Mosul, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Makhmour, where American forces are training Iraqi Security forces.
He declined to give specifics about the airstrike but several American media outlets referred to an unnamed defense official who claimed several Apaches took part in the strike but only one fired ammunition.
The Pentagon had previously offered the helicopters during an offensive in 2015 to recapture Ramadi and Fallujah. Those offers were rejected because the battles took place in a dense urban environment.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter again made an offer in April for eight Apache helicopters along with other elements, including Special Forces, for Mosul. That offer was accepted.
Davis said that among the 217 American troops who were deployed to Iraq in April there “were crew and maintainers who would use those aircraft.”
Currently there are 4,087 U.S. forces in Iraq.