Navy Seals Afghanistan
August 7, 2011 by staff
Navy Seals Afghanistan, In the deadliest day for U.S. forces in nearly 10 years of war in Afghanistan, insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter Saturday, killing 30 Americans – including Navy SEAL command of the larger unit that caused the death of Osama bin Laden – and seven Afghan command, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
The helicopter raid on a night mission in the Tangi valley of Wardak province, west of Kabul, most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade, a coalition official said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which could hardly have found a more valuable target: U.S. officials said 22 of those killed were Command Navy SEAL two different special teams, including SEAL Team 6.
Other commands that the team conducted the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed bin Laden in May.
Officials said those killed on Saturday were not involved in the mission of Pakistan.
That many elite forces of the armed forces could be killed shook the troops around the world.
It takes years to become a Navy SEAL unit and will have repercussions throughout the force.
Saturday’s deaths bring to 365 the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan this year and 42 this month.
The attack came during a wave of violence that has accompanied the start of a withdrawal of U.S. troops and NATO, and showed how entrenched the insurgency is still very far from their main strongholds in southern Afghanistan and the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east. U.S. Soldiers had recently become the only combat outpost in the Tangi valley for the Afghans.
When the Brigade Combat Team placed fourth installment of its unique combat in the Tangi valley of the Afghan security forces in April, the U.S. commander in the area said the troops began to withdraw; he wanted to concentrate their forces in conflict areas that had large populations.
But he vowed to continue the coalition forces conducting raids to stop insurgent activity there.
“As we lose U.S. personnel, we have to focus on older populations,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Rickard, commander of Task Guerrero 10th Mountain Division of the Force, which is responsible for the area includes Tangi. “We will continue to hunt militants in Tangi and avoid having a safe haven.”
Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy, the police chief of Wardak, said the helicopter attack came after an assault on a Taliban compound in the area of?? Zarin Joy Tangi Tangi in the valley. The fighting lasted for at least two hours, the general said.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, confirmed insurgents had been gathered on the campus, adding that eight had died in the fighting.
President Obama offered his condolences to the families of Americans and Afghans were killed. “His death is a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by men and women of our armed forces and their families,” Obama said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai also offered his condolences to the families of the victims.
Gen. John Allen, the commander of the international military mission in Afghanistan, said: “All those killed in this operation were true heroes who had given so much in defense of freedom His sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Tangi Valley runs along the border between the neighboring Wardak and Logar province, where security has deteriorated in the past two years, with the insurgents near the capital, Kabul.
It is one of several remote areas have become havens for insurgents, according to intelligence operations and the Brigade Combat Team room.
The mountainous region, with its steep hills and slate aggregate, crossed by paths and small roads, has long been an area that the Taliban have used to pass Logar and Wardak, said local government officials.
Officers in a base of operations near the Tangi valley described as one of the most troubled areas in the provinces of Logar and Wardak.
“There is much happening in Tangi, is a stronghold of the Taliban,” said Capt. Kirstin Massey, 31, assistant intelligence officer for the team of Fourth Brigade Combat Team in an interview last week.
Afghan fighters are completely and almost all local residents, said Massey.
The turf in these areas represent the kind of problems the military faced last year in the areas of Kunar province, forcing commanders to weigh the value of the mission, given the cost in lives of soldiers and money spent on where the vast majority of insurgents are local residents who resent the presence of NATO and the Afghan government.
The dilemma is that if NATO military forces do not remain, areas often quickly fall under the influence of the Taliban, if not control, and national Afghan security forces still lack the ability to defeat them.
A few days after the transition, the Taliban raised their flag near the base, said a NATO military official familiar with the situation. Afghan security forces remained in the area, but were no match for the Taliban, the official said.
Local officials in Wardak said the Tangi Valley residents did not like fighting in the area, and although it had fallen under the sway of the Taliban, residents were unwilling allies.
“I do not like to have military in the area – no matter whether they are Taliban or foreigners,” said Hajji Mohammad Hazrat Janan, the president of the provincial council in Wardak.
“When an operation is performed on their people,” he said, “sleep is interrupted by the sound of helicopters and its military operation. And they do not like the Taliban, because they attack, then go find cover his people, and are threatened by the Taliban. ”
However, when local residents are harmed by NATO troops, then he said, are willing to help the insurgents.
This was the second helicopter to be shot down by insurgents in the past two weeks.
On 25 July, a Chinook was shot down in Kunar province, injuring two people on board. Of the 15 accidents or forced landings this year, were the only two confirmed cases where hostile fire was involved.
Before Saturday, the largest single-day loss of life of U.S. military in Afghanistan arrived on June 28, 2005 in Kunar province when a Chinook helicopter carrying special operations troops was shot down in its attempt to provide reinforcements to the forces trapped in heavy fighting.
Sixteen members of a special operations unit were killed in the crash, and three more were killed in fighting on the ground.
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