Airstrike Kills Taliban
August 10, 2011 by staff
Airstrike Kills Taliban, The U.S. commander and NATO forces in Afghanistan say an airstrike that killed the militants responsible for helicopter crash last week that killed 38 Americans and Afghans. Insurgents shot down the Chinook helicopter in the central province of Wardak Afghanistan on Saturday.
Thirty U.S. soldiers, including members of boards of elite Navy, were killed along with seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter. It was the worst loss of life in the United States in a single incident during the decade of war in Afghanistan.
Gen. John Allen, told reporters at the Pentagon by videoconference on Wednesday that a coalition airstrike killed Taliban insurgents responsible for the helicopter down in Wardak.
In a separate statement, NATO said the air strike Tuesday killed accuracy Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and insurgent “firing associated with” the downing of the CH-47 helicopter in the Tangi valley.
The coalition said special operations forces and the shooter Mohibullah tracked after receiving information from local citizens. The two men were trying to flee the country to avoid capture.
The Chinook helicopter was sent to the Tangi Valley on Saturday as part of an operation targeting a Taliban leader.
NATO said on Wednesday that if it has not been determined if the enemy fire was the “only reason” for the helicopter crash, the plane caught fire places several insurgents in their approach.
During the briefing on Wednesday, General Allen also reaffirmed that an investigation was underway. He noted that while a rocket-propelled grenade at least partially at fault, small arms fire could also have played a role.
The U.S. commander also defended the decision to send in the elite team to pursue insurgents “escape” an ongoing operation targeting a major Taliban leader.
General Allen said the Taliban leader objective of the operation has not yet been killed or captured by coalition or Afghan forces.
The commander of U.S. forces and NATO in Afghanistan also said the killing of those responsible for the crash of a helicopter “to facilitate our loss” and promised that the troops will continue to harass “the enemy”.
U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to the Base Dover Air Force in the eastern state of Delaware, on Tuesday to pay their respects as the remains of fallen soldiers, including nearly two dozen seals elite Navy, were taken home on two military cargo planes.
The White House said that President Obama later met with about 250 relatives and friends of fallen soldiers who had gathered at the base, and expressed their condolences and gratitude for the sacrifice of the troops.
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