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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Colonel Darley Holds Press Conference

Aired November 2, 2003 - 08:48   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

RENAY SAN MIGUEL, CNN ANCHOR: We understand we have a briefing now from the U.S. military regarding today's incidents, attacks in Iraq. This is Colonel William Starley (sic).
QUESTION: Apparently there were two helicopters involved. Is there any way this was an accident, or are you suggesting that you need to investigate this further? I mean, I don't see quite how your version corresponds with...

COLONEL WILLIAM DARLEY, U.S. ARMY: Well, the cause of the crash is under investigation. And, as I noted before, we're unsure of the cause at this time. We are also aware that there are eyewitnesses asserting that they did see what they presume to be missile trails, but again, we are unsure, at this time, and we don't have a definite answer.

Sir.

QUESTION: Obviously, we don't know the altitude of the helicopter that was shot down and if you do, given the prevalence of these RPGs and the fact that we know that there are surface-to-air missiles out there, are these helicopters flying under any instructions to fly higher or not?

DARLEY: Well, that's a fair question, and obviously the heights and altitudes we fly would be a TTP, again with regard to any incident of this nature, the various TTP associated with flying altitudes and various routes certainly would be part of the investigation.

One last question.

QUESTION: The soldiers you said that were going on -- sorry, Mark from "ABC," the soldiers, you said, were going on R&R. Were they going on R&R back in the states or just a Q.A. to Germany? Do you have any details on that?

DARLEY: I don't have any details on that. I'm aware that, at least some of them were going on R&R.

OK, thank you for your time.

QUESTION: Are there incident -- I...

SAN MIGUEL: You've been listening to Colonel William Darley regarding today's attack on a U.S. Chinook helicopter that killed 13 U.S. soldiers and wounded 20, saying not much more about this other that the cause is under investigation. There some -- were some eyewitnesses that saw missile trails. The routs and the altitudes, still under investigation, at least some of those on the helicopter were heading back to R&R. We're going to take a break, we'll have more here on CNN, right after this.

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