An airplane carrying three US senators and a congressman was fired upon by rockets as it left Baghdad last night, forcing the pilot to resort to evasive maneuvers to avoid being struck. Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby described the rocket attacks as “near misses,” CNN reports. “Our plane started maneuvering and changing directions and shaking all around,” the senator said.
Also on board were Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, as well as Alabama Rep. Bud Cramer. The southern VIPs saw flares fired by their military plane, used to confuse the censors on heat-seeking rockets. The congressman complimented the flight crew, and said the danger was “something that our men and women in combat face every day.”