DHL cargo plane hit by missle



THE U.S.-LED coalition also said it grounded commercial flights after the military confirmed that a missile struck a DHL cargo plane that landed Saturday at Baghdad International Airport with its wing aflame.
Nevertheless, American officers insisted they were making progress in bringing stability to Iraq, and the U.S.-appointed Governing Council named an ambassador to Washington an Iraqi-American woman who spent the last decade lobbying U.S. lawmakers to promote democracy in her homeland.


A VIDEO showing a masked militant firing the missile that hit a DHL
civilian cargo jet over Baghdad, setting its engine ablaze in the
first successful hit on a plane of the seven-month-old insurgency,
has been delivered to a French journalist.

The six-minute-long footage was received by Sara Daniel,
correspondent of Paris-based weekly Le Nouvel Observateur. It shows
10 militants, their faces concealed by chequered keffiyeh headdresses
or white scarves, carrying out the attack from scrubland south of the

The shoulder-launched missile is seen shooting up into the sky after
being fired by one of the cell and then homing in on the Airbus-300

The vapour trail makes a sharp U-turn as the missile homes in on the
infra-red or radio signals from the scheduled Baghdad to Dubai
courier flight.

The militants are then seen making their get-away in a car. The 11th
militant who presumably shot the footage films his own lap in his
haste to get into the vehicle.

After a break, the video resumes with footage of the stricken
airliner diving back down to Baghdad airport, in clearly amateur
footage shot through electricity lines.

The men, clad in flowing black abayas or camouflage fatigues, carry
rocket-propelled grenade launchers or Kalashnikovs as well as two
portable missile launchers.

Only one missile is seen fired.

Before the firing, a US army helicopter is seen hovering in the
middle distance, but the militants have clearly chosen their target
and leave the military aircraft alone.

Tall grass partially obstructs the view of the chopper. It is unclear
whether it is the undergrowth that prevents the soldiers aboard from
spotting the militants, or the three cars they have parked on a dusty
path, as they ready their strike.

The missile launcher is an SA-14 Gremlin, not an SA-7 Grail as
initially reported by the US military.

Both are made by Russian firm Strela but the Gremlin is heavier,
weighing in at 16kg, compared with the 9.15kg of the Grail.

The SA-14 has a range of 2000m when used against an approaching jet,
although this is extended to 4500m when used against a helicopter or
propeller-driven aircraft.


the plane looks like a dc-8 which lost it's outboard engine.

(Message edited by rushfan on November 25, 2003)