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Afghan Helicopter Crash Not Due To ‘Trap’

From Reuters:

What happened on the night of Afghanistan helicopter crash

By Paul Tait
August 10, 2011

KABUL (Reuters) – … Reuters has been able to reconstruct a clearer picture of the circumstances of the crash after interviews with officials from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the U.S. military. Unless identified, all spoke on condition of anonymity because investigations are still being carried out.

The disaster unfolded after an ISAF Special Operations Command (SOC) team that included at least some U.S. Rangers began a raid in the Tangi valley in central Maidan Wardak province under darkness late on Friday… Friday’s SOC operation was launched to capture a local Taliban leader, a man responsible for organizing insurgent operations in the area…

"The ground force was assaulting the objective and were in contact with the insurgents," another military official told Reuters, adding that a small number of Taliban fighters soon broke away from the main group.

At that point, very early on Saturday, the SOC ground team called in what ISAF describes as an "Immediate Reaction Force" (IRF), a standby unit. An IRF is different from a Quick Reaction Force, emergency units that have been deployed in response to "spectacular" attacks by insurgents in Kabul and elsewhere.

Despite widespread speculation to the contrary, that means the extra force called in to assist the ground team was not sent on a "rescue" mission. Neither was it caught in any kind of elaborate Taliban trap. "A group started breaking away and fleeing," the second military official said. "That’s when they called in the IRF, to come in and get those guys."

Military officials have said that, under such circumstances, it is not unusual for insurgent leaders to break off from an engagement and leave behind "low-level fighters." "That’s when the helicopter coming in got hit," one said.

Several military and diplomatic officials have said it appeared the devastating death toll — 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter — was the result of nothing more than a lucky shot. "It just has to be the right angle, the right shot," one said.

ISAF says for now that insurgents had been using RPGs during the initial engagement and that the helicopter had been fired on, but still refers to the incident as a crash.

"We can still not confirm that this was the cause of the crash," Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson said on Wednesday. While it is not unusual for rocket-propelled grenades — normally an anti-tank weapon — to hit helicopters, it is extremely rare for them to actually bring one down.

Coalition officials have effectively ruled out that the helicopter was brought down by anything more sophisticated than an RPG launcher

And, for the record, here is an update on the Taliban involved in this fight, from the Associated Press:

Military killed Taliban who downed US helicopter

By LOLITA C. BALDOR and PAULINE JELINEK,  Associated Press
August 10, 2011

WASHINGTON – The top commander in Afghanistan says international forces [sic] killed the Taliban insurgents responsible for downing a U.S. helicopter and killing 38 U.S. and Afghan forces over the weekend.

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told a Pentagon news conference Wednesday that forces learned where the insurgents had fled to and killed them in an early Monday morning air strike.

A separate statement to the media from Afghanistan said the strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the rocket-propelled grenade that downed the Chinook helicopter

Well, that’s a little consolation.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Afghan Helicopter Crash Not Due To ‘Trap’”

  1. GetBackJack

    1. This is Reuters
    2. Never believe anything if it comes from Reuters
    3. I have SERIOUS doubts this event happened at all
    4. If it did actually happen, I want the heads of the military’s Press Department for giving aid and comfort to our enemies
    5. If this event did actually happen, WTF were so many men doing on one slower/nhell chopper??
    6. My best friend is a former (unnamed) and the back chatter he’s hearing echoes the above from SPECOPS in the field
    7. Leading to even more pointed (read blasphemous) comments from our black operators that stone cold homicidal IDIOTS are in charge

    That is all

    PS – before you flame me, remember that a sizable number of military men have gone on to “other assignments” after “dying” in a helicopter crash.

    • lets also note, gbj:

      (1.) there were no pakistanis involved.

      (2.) there were no SEALS from the OBL raid involved. (don’t want to ‘Pat Tillman’ up this situation)

      (3.) this was not a “rescue” mission. (that might portray our side being in a bind)

      (4.) it wasn’t a “trap”. (the fact is this adminstration wants out. there can be no situation spun up to cause them to have to stay past the end of the year. if this was found to be a trap set by the taliban with help from the pakistanis, it puts the mission in a bad light and worse yet, has americans screaming for justice. the last thing obama wants is an escalation of this turning into a conflict with pakistan. he has to scale back, there’s an election coming. he’s already getting enough grief about guantanamo)

      (5.) therefore, it was a “lucky” shot that took down the chinook.

      (6.) and, we got them back anyway.

      (7.) plus, they didn’t shoot it down.

      as they would say in north birmingham:

      man, please!

  2. proreason

    a “lucky shot”

    Yeh, that must be it.

    21 of the most elite American fighters, about 5% of the manpower of the very unit that took out Bin Laden three months ago, got hit with a “lucky shot” from a rag-tag enemy who was “left behind” while his mates were retreating.

    That must be it.

    It’s a coincidence that rivals the stunninngly perfect timing of the meltdown of Sept 2008, isn’t it?

  3. canary

    Reuters – “While it is not unusual for rocket-propelled grenades — normally an anti-tank weapon — to hit helicopters, it is extremely rare for them to actually bring one down.”

    What an insane statement.

    It’s mostly the British that have dealt with great losses in helicopter crashes, as they spent most of their time on Afghanistan missions.

    Here’s some history on U.S. chinook helicopter to include
    being shot down leading to the lost of U.S. Military Heroes at the beginning of the Afghanistan war.

    http://www.chinook-helicopter......00475.html

    The media is really going with Obama’s “ONE-OFF” idiom.
    Oliver North was on FOX and said they only needed to hit a blade of a Chinook copter.

    Obama shouts out a slow “pull-out” and made sitting ducks out of our soldiers.

  4. canary

    I think I’ll choose General Allen’s version. Rocket launcher & possibly small arms brought the chinook down. (leader still not captured; no doubt children are guarding him).

    BBC: US says Taliban who shot at US helicopter dead
    08/10/2011

    General John Allen, US forces commander in Afghanistan, said those responsible had been targeted on Monday by an F-16.

    The dead also included Afghan commandos, an Afghan civilian interpreter, US Air Force personnel, a dog handler and the Chinook crew.

    But the insurgents shot at the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, Gen Allen said.

    Gen Allen said an investigation into the crash would determine whether small arms had also been fired at the Chinook.

    Gen Allen said the Taliban leader originally targeted in Saturday’s mission had not been killed in Monday’s air raid.

    (article/video of General Allen)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14479949

    “an Afghan civilian interpreter” among the dead. How 21st century. He’s with 40 virgins and family will collect half a million during Ramadan.

  5. pamypo

    How the hell does anyone know they got the same guys who shot down the helicopter? No pictures of the bodies coming home, classified! A movie company got classifed information to make a movie of getting OBL. How much more must we take?

    • canary

      Well, Obama is keeping count. Today he honored 1 billion more muslims in the world since his 2009 Ramadan White House celebration day. Ramadan such a festive time of rituals.
      Michelle is on vacation, no doubt disliking the ritual of men and women separating to get in prostate positions.

      Meanwhile, muslims celebrating by attacking a Christian church and murdering Christians; throwing stones at girls in newly democratic Cairo. The muslims don’t even have the decency to use sharp blades when
      they hack and saw heads off animals, and people. Women in Obama’s homie Indonesia getting arrested for not fasting. Honor killings increase. Bombings of women in mosques increases during Ramadan,
      and our U.S. soldiers always getting extra slaughtered during the month of Ramadan.
      That doing without sex, food and water dawn to dusk, is no festival for muslims.

      What an education Obama always gives us during Ramadan, the 1st Islamic Center in America was built in NYC so building another at ground 0 hallow ground has priority over sensitivity and feelings of
      Americans against it. He says muslims follow the golden rule, to do unto others as you would do unto yourself. Yeah, right. Like American’s cut their own hands and feet off, and chop off heads.

    • BillK

      I too wonder how they know the identity of the exact person who pulled the trigger on the RPG launcher.

      Member of the same group I can buy, “likely” I can buy, but how do you know exactly who pulled the trigger?

    • canary

      pamypo I hear ya on that movie, and don’t like the producers. The WH and Pentagon are getting blasted for releasing so much information.

      Will they point out the CIA agent hero that spent the last of 4 of 8 months after finding Bin Laden begging the Director and Obama they had to act now.

      If the WH and Pentagon are going to stir the hatred up, why not show us the real footage of Bin Laden getting shot, and especially his muslim funeral, and most of all, dumping him into the sea with cement block tied to his feet.


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