The U-S is increasingly turning to helicopters in Iraq to both transport officials and troops and to attack militants.
Helicopters have emerged as the most important weapon in the U-S air war in Iraq. Pairs of the aircraft often act as the eyes and arms for small bands of ground troops.
The military is using tactics similar to those from the Vietnam war or Israel to fight rebels.
It also says it prefers using the helicopters to ferry troops and leaders rather than let them drive on ambush-prone roads.
Says one military leader: "When we fly, soldiers don't die."
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US helicopter passes over after explosions in fortified Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, photo