Missile Fired at McCain Helicopter During Georgia Visit?
The Arizona Republic reports that a missile was fired at a helicopter escorting Senator John McCain last week.
A missile was fired at a helicopter escorting Sen. John McCain during a visit to the Republic of Georgia last week. A statement from that nation’s interior ministry says the surface-to-air missile was aimed at a chopper involved in a visit of a U.S. Senate delegation to the former Soviet republic. McCain was mentioned as the leader of the group.
The ministry statement claims American officials were notified of the incident. State Dept. spokeswoman Joanne Moore told the Associated Press she had no information about the reported attack.
The president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, is a strong ally of the U.S. He is also trying to re-establish control over two regions of the country trying to break away from the central government.
Word of this missile launch was made as part of a statement about a Sunday attack on a helicopter carrying Georgia’s defense minister. His aircraft was damaged by large-caliber machine gun fire and forced to make an emergency landing. No one was injured.
The Concord (NH) Monitor adds,
The Georgian Interior Ministry said a helicopter accompanying a delegation of U.S. senators, including New Hampshire’s John Sununu, was fired on last month with a surface-to-air missile from the separatist territory of South Ossetia. A ministry statement said the shooting took place Aug. 28 and that the helicopter was not damaged.
The helicopter was accompanying Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and a U.S. delegation led by Sen. John McCain, the statement said. In addition to Sununu, the delegation included Sens. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, Mel Martinez, a Florida Republican, and Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican.
I suspect local papers in each state headlined the local celebrity. Otherwise, the story is getting very little play.