Carter Deploying Attack Helicopter Against ISIS

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced he was willing to commit further resources towards defeating ISIS, including the deployment of attack helicopters to accompany US military advisers in Iraq.

The Daily Callers News Foundation writes:

In his testimony to the Senate Committee on Armed Services today, Carter appeared to be willing to commit quite a bit of support to Iraq in its recent offensive to retake the key ISIS bastion of Ramadi, which sits just under 100 miles away from the capital of Baghdad. That is, of course, except ground forces.

“The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers,” says Carter, with two caveats: only if it is necessary and only if Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asks for increased support.

“In Iraq, we have about 3,500 troops at six locations in support of Iraqi Security Forces, or ISF,” notes Carter in his opening statement.

Carter’s testimony may appear on its face to be an escalation, however when taken with the context that the Iraqi prime minister said last week he does not want more foreign troops to help fight ISIS, his words in reality are somewhat hollow.

The utilization of attack helicopters will bring an important new element to the fight against ISIS in that the AH-64 Apache is tailor-made for attacking light and armored vehicles that compose a majority of ISIS forces. The helicopter also operates at a much lower altitude compared to other bomber and attack aircraft, meaning it is more vulnerable to ISIS anti-aircraft guns. You can see this magnificent weapon in action in the video below.

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