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Operation Swarmer: TV Nets Were Wrong; Was It “Little More Than A Photo Op?”

Time Magazine sets the record straight:

“Four Black Hawk helicopters landed in a wheat field and dropped off a television crew [Ed. Note: CNN's Nic Robertson and co.], three photographers, three print reporters and three Iraqi government officials right into the middle of Operation Swarmer

The press, flown in from Baghdad to this agricultural gridiron northeast of Samarra, huddled around the Iraqi officials and U.S. Army commanders who explained that the ‘largest air assault since 2003′ in Iraq using over 50 helicopters to put 1500 Iraqi and U.S. troops on the ground had netted 48 suspected insurgents, 17 of which had already been cleared and released…

But contrary to what many many television networks erroneously reported, the operation was by no means the largest use of airpower since the start of the war. (‘Air Assault’ is a military term that refers specifically to transporting troops into an area.) In fact, there were no airstrikes and no leading insurgents were nabbed in an operation that some skeptical military analysts described as little more than a photo op. What’s more, there were no shots fired at all and the units had met no resistance, said the U.S. and Iraqi commanders.”

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