Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

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Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:10

KABUL, Afghanistan — In the deadliest day for American forces in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter on Saturday, killing 30 Americans, including some Navy Seal commandos from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as 8 Afghans, American and Afghan officials said.

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S. Sabawoon/European Pressphoto Agency
Afghan insurgents on Saturday said they had shot down a Chinook transport helicopter similar to the one seen loading troops in Kabul in 2004.
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Times Topic: Afghanistan
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The New York Times
The attack in Wardak Province killed seven Afghans.
The helicopter, on a night-raid mission in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province, to the west of Kabul, was most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade, one coalition official said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, and they could hardly have found a more valuable target: American officials said that 22 of the dead were Navy Seal commandos, including members of Seal Team 6. Other commandos from that team conducted the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Bin Laden in May. The officials said that those who were killed Saturday were not involved in the Pakistan mission.

President Obama offered his condolences to the families of the Americans and Afghans who died in the attack. “Their death is a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifice made by the men and women of our military and their families,” Mr. Obama said. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan also offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

Saturday’s attack came during a surge of violence that has accompanied the beginning of a drawdown of American and NATO troops, and it showed how deeply entrenched the insurgency remains even far from its main strongholds in southern Afghanistan and along the Afghan-Pakistani border in the east. American soldiers had recently turned over the sole combat outpost in the Tangi Valley to Afghans.

Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy, the police chief of Wardak, said the attack occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday after an assault on a Taliban compound in the village of Jaw-e-Mekh Zareen in the Tangi Valley. The fighting lasted at least two hours, the general said.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, confirmed that insurgents had been gathering at the compound, adding that eight of them had been killed in the fighting.

The Tangi Valley traverses the border between Wardak and Logar Province, an area where security has worsened over the past two years, bringing the insurgency closer to the capital, Kabul. It is one of several inaccessible areas that have become havens for insurgents, according to operations and intelligence officers with the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, which patrols the area. The mountainous region, with its steeply pitched hillsides and arid shale, laced by small footpaths and byways, has long been an area that the Taliban have used to move between Logar and Wardak, local government officials said.

Officers at a forward operating base near the valley described Tangi as one of the most troubled areas in Logar and Wardak Provinces.

“There’s a lot happening in Tangi,” said Capt. Kirstin Massey, 31, the assistant intelligence officer for Fourth Brigade Combat Team in an interview last week. “It’s a stronghold for the Taliban.”

The fighters are entirely Afghans and almost all local residents, Captain Massey said, noting that “We don’t capture any fighters who are non-Afghans.”

The redoubts in these areas pose the kind of problems the military faced last year in similarly remote areas of Kunar Province, forcing commanders to weigh the mission’s value given the cost in soldiers’ lives and dollars spent in places where the vast majority of the insurgents are local residents who resent both the NATO presence and the Afghan government.

The dilemma is that if NATO military forces do not stay, the areas often quickly slip back under Taliban influence, if not outright control, and the Afghan National Security Forces do not have the ability yet to rout them.

When the Fourth Brigade Combat Team handed over its only combat outpost in the Tangi Valley to Afghan security forces in April, the American commander for the area said that as troops began to withdraw, he wanted to focus his forces on troubled areas that had larger populations. But he pledged that coalition forces would continue to carry out raids there to stem insurgent activity.

Ray Rivera and Alissa J. Rubin reported from Kabul, and Thom Shanker from Washington. Jack Healy, Abdul Waheed Wafa and Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting from Kabul.

“As we lose U.S. personnel, we have to concentrate on the greater populations,” said Lt. Col. Thomas S. Rickard, the commander of 10th Mountain Division’s Task Force Warrior, which has responsibility for the area that includes Tangi. “We are going to continue to hunt insurgents in Tangi and prevent them from having a safe haven.”

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Times Topic: AfghanistanWithin days of the transition, the Taliban raised their flag near the outpost, said a NATO 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 that residents of the Tangi Valley disliked the fighting in the area, and that though they had fallen under the Taliban’s sway, the residents were not willing allies.

“They do not like having military in that area — no matter whether they are Taliban or foreigners,” said Hajji Mohammad Hazrat Janan, the chairman of the Wardak provincial council. “When an operation takes place in their village,” he said, “their sleep gets disrupted by the noise of helicopters and by their military operation. And also they don’t like the Taliban, because when they attack, then they go and seek cover in their village, and they are threatened by the Taliban.”

However, when local residents are hurt by the NATO soldiers, then, he said, they are willing to help the insurgents.

This was the second helicopter to be shot down by insurgents in the past two weeks. On July 25, a Chinook was shot down in Kunar Province, injuring two people on board. Of 15 crashes or forced landings this year, those two were the only confirmed cases where hostile fire was involved.

Before Saturday, the biggest single-day loss of life for the American military in Afghanistan came on June 28, 2005, during an operation in Kunar Province when a Chinook helicopter carrying Special Operations troops was shot down as it tried to provide reinforcements to 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.

Although the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan has steadily risen in the past year, with a 15 percent increase in the first half of 2011 over the same period last year, NATO deaths had been declining — decreasing 20 percent in the first six months of 2011 compared with 2010.





Última edición por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 18:59, editado 1 vez

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:21

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- In the single deadliest loss for U.S. troops since the Afghan war began in late 2001, 30 service members died early Saturday when a helicopter carrying them went down while they were reinforcing other troops, officials said.

Insurgents are believed to have shot down the CH-47 Chinook, a U.S. military official said. The Taliban claimed militants downed the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Among the 25 U.S. special forces killed in Wardak province were 22 Navy SEALS, considered to be the "best of the best." Seven Afghan troops also died.

The majority of the Navy SEALs who died belonged to the same covert unit that conducted the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, though they were not the same men, the military official said.

The troops died during a "quick reaction" mission to assist military personnel pinned down by insurgents in a fierce firefight, a U.S. military official told CNN.

"It's a big loss" for the SEALs, one of the officials said. "The numbers are high."

Reflecting on the sobering loss, President Barack Obama said the deaths were "a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan."

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said 30 U.S. service members in ISAF, one civilian interpreter and seven Afghan commandos were killed. The nationality of the interpreter was not known late Saturday.

The U.S. deaths came as NATO is drawing down and handing over security control to national forces. Some 10,000 U.S. troops are scheduled to depart by year's end, with all U.S. military personnel out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

However, no one is talking about withdrawing special forces and they are expected to stay on the job.

"We are determined to stay the course, especially in this crucial period when Afghan and international security forces are working closer than ever to make transition a success," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

Special forces have been conducting almost daily night-time raids against insurgent targets in rugged areas like Wardak.

The Chinook went down as an Afghan and coalition force operation targeted a bomb-making cell leader in Wardak, leading to the detention of numerous insurgents Friday, according to ISAF. It is not clear if the helicopter incident and the raid were connected.



Dozens killed in NATO chopper crash

Chopper crash 'big loss' for Navy SEALs RELATED TOPICS
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Mohammad Hazrat Janan, head of the provincial council, said Tangi village elders reported that insurgents shot at the craft when it was returning from an operation.

Officials are being especially tight-lipped because recovery operations at the site are still underway and body identifications and family notifications are just beginning, a U.S. military official said.

ISAF has not said how the incident occurred. Spokesman Justin Brockhoff acknowledged the helicopter had been flying in an area where there was reported insurgent activity.

"No words describe the sorrow we feel in the wake of this tragic loss," said Gen. John R. Allen, ISAF commander. "All of those killed in this operation were true heroes who had already given so much in the defense of freedom. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who are now waiting for their loved ones to return home. We will do everything in our power to support them in this time of need."

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, which said the helicopter went down Friday evening, said ISAF "is still assessing the circumstances that resulted in these deaths."

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said it's too early to say if the Taliban caused the crash. He called for an investigation.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Obama and others offered condolences.

"Information is still coming in about this incident. I think it's important that we allow investigators to do their work before jumping to too many conclusions," said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"It's also important that we respect the process of notifying family members, no matter how long that takes. We ought to remember that the troops we lose in this war aren't just statistics or numbers on a wall. They were parents and siblings, and someone's child. We need to make sure we do all we can to comfort and support the families whose lives are now forever changed."

Obama was first notified of the incident shortly after 8 p.m. Friday, a White House official told CNN. The president led a telephone briefing midmorning Saturday.

The CH-47 Chinook is the workhorse helicopter of the Army, used for decades to haul large numbers of troops and quantities of equipment.

The military is looking into whether the helicopter was vulnerable to being shot down.

Depending on the configuration, the tandem-rotor Chinook can carry 33 to 55 troops, plus two pilots on the flight deck, according to Jane's Defence Equipment and Technology. It is capable of speeds up to 159 mph. The front rotor turns counter-clockwise while the rear rotor turns clockwise.

The SEALs, and other special forces, are given dangerous missions and go after insurgents in remote areas. A huge amount of money, training and expertise is poured into their careers. Along with carrying out counter-terrorism assaults on the Afghan-Pakistani border, they conduct training and military missions around the world.

The Afghan street is buzzing with reflection about the significance of the incident.

"It shows that the Taliban are very strong and have not been defeated by the U.S.," said Kabul resident Saifurahman Ahmezai.

But others said the incident is not emblematic of a new-found insurgent strength.

"The Taliban are not that powerful," said Hezat, a police officer in Kabul who goes only by one name. "But if the international forces leave Afghanistan, the situation will get even worse."

Last month, a NATO helicopter was brought down by insurgent fire in the country's eastern province of Kunar. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that attack, though no injuries were reported.

In a separate incident, a NATO service member died Saturday after an improvised explosive device detonated in southern Afghanistan. Elsewhere, a joint Afghan and coalition force conducted raids in the eastern province of Nangarhar, killing "several insurgents," NATO reported.

The operation also targeted a "Taliban facilitator," who NATO said was responsible for supplying ammunition and bomb-making materials to the Taliban.

In July, a series of gun battles in Nangarhar between insurgents and NATO forces left at least 10 militants dead.

There are 150,000 ISAF forces in Afghanistan, including nearly 100,000 from the United States -- the largest NATO presence in the region since the U.S.-led war began in 2001.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/08/06/afghanistan.nato.helicopter.crash/index.html

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:24

A helicopter was shot down today by Afghan insurgents as it was rushing to aid troops in a firefight, killing 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs, most of whom belonged to Team 6, the unit whose members were involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, U.S. officials said.

The Chinook helicopter was carrying a quick-reaction force to provide back-up to the troops on the ground in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak, a U.S. official said. After the crash, the forces that were involved in the firefight "broke contact" with the enemy so they could go provide perimeter security for the crash site, the official said.

Additional forces were then sent to secure the crash site.

It's unclear how far away the helicopter was from the initial firefight when it went down and unclear how the troops in the firefight got to the crash location, the official said.

In addition to the 30 Americans, the official said there were seven Afghan army soldiers and an interpreter on the helicopter.

Although the Taliban have claimed to have shot the helicopter down, U.S. officials have only identified the attackers as insurgents.

On July 25, a Chinook was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by the Taliban. It launched in the belly of the aircraft which made a hard landing and only two soldiers were injured in that attack but this time all on board were killed.

Saturday's deaths bring the total number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan to 334 this year, according to the Associated Press.

The last worst one-day U.S. casuality record in Afghanistan was on June 28, 2005 when 16 U.S. soldiers were killed in Kunar province after a helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents.

Afghan President Karzai's office released a statement on the incident.

"A NATO helicopter crashed last night in Wardak province," Karzai said in the statement. "President Karzai expressed his deep condolences because of this incident and expressed his sympathy to Barack Obama."

President Obama offered his thoughts and prayers to those killed in the crash.

"Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan," Obama said in a statement. "We will draw inspiration from their lives, and continue the work of securing our country and standing up for the values that they embodied. We also mourn the Afghans who died alongside our troops in pursuit of a more peaceful and hopeful future for their country. At this difficult hour, all Americans are united in support of our men and women in uniform who serve so that we can live in freedom and security."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/nato-crash-31-americans-killed-including-25-navy/story?id=14245387

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:26

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A helicopter crash in Afghanistan's eastern Wardak province has killed 30 U.S. special operation troops and seven Afghan soldiers, the country's president said on Saturday. It was the highest number of casualties recorded in a single incident in the decade-long war.

Insurgents shot down a U.S. military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, U.S. officials said Saturday.

More than 20 U.S. special operations forces killed, most of them Navy SEALs, according to CBS News correspondent David Martin in Washington.


Although Martin earlier reported that they were not members of SEAL Team 6, as some reports claimed, he is now reporting that It was Navy SEAL Team 6 but no members of bin Laden raid. The total of American dead appears to be 30, and we can say they came from the Navy, Air Force and Army, most of them Navy SEALs from Team 6.


The crew of five U.S. servicemen was also killed along with seven Afghan commandos, a civilian interpreter and a dog. Bodies are being evacuated from the crash site.


President Obama offered condolences to the dead. "Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan," said Obama in a statement. "We will draw inspiration from their lives, and continue the work of securing our country and standing up for the values that they embodied. We also mourn the Afghans who died alongside our troops in pursuit of a more peaceful and hopeful future for their country."

President Hamid Karzai sent his condolences to President Obama, according to a statement issued by his office.


"A NATO helicopter crashed last night in Wardak province," Karzai said in the statement, adding that 31 American special operations troops were killed. "President Karzai expressed his deep condolences because of this incident and expressed his sympathy to Barack Obama."


NATO confirmed the overnight crash and said the alliance was conducting a recovery operation at the site and investigating the cause of the crash, but did not release details or a casualty figure. The coalition said there "was enemy activity in the area."


"We are aware of an incident involving a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a NATO spokesman. "We are in the process of accessing the facts."

Of the 3o dead Americans, as many as 25 Navy SEALs died, a senior military official told ABC News. 38 people were killed in all. The New York Times reports that 22 Navy SEALs had died.



CBS News correspondent Charles D'Agata said on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" that, "Nighttime strikes are one of the most successful ways U.S. forces have to battle Taliban hideouts, but they're also one of the riskiest."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/06/earlyshow/saturday/main20089003.shtml

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:27

August 6, 2011 5:11 AM PrintText 22 Navy SEALs dead in Afghan chopper crash
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(CBS/AP) Updated 4:02 p.m. ET


KABUL, Afghanistan -- A helicopter crash in Afghanistan's eastern Wardak province has killed 30 U.S. special operation troops and seven Afghan soldiers, the country's president said on Saturday. It was the highest number of casualties recorded in a single incident in the decade-long war.

Insurgents shot down a U.S. military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, U.S. officials said Saturday.

More than 20 U.S. special operations forces killed, most of them Navy SEALs, according to CBS News correspondent David Martin in Washington.


Although Martin earlier reported that they were not members of SEAL Team 6, as some reports claimed, he is now reporting that It was Navy SEAL Team 6 but no members of bin Laden raid. The total of American dead appears to be 30, and we can say they came from the Navy, Air Force and Army, most of them Navy SEALs from Team 6.


The crew of five U.S. servicemen was also killed along with seven Afghan commandos, a civilian interpreter and a dog. Bodies are being evacuated from the crash site.


President Obama offered condolences to the dead. "Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan," said Obama in a statement. "We will draw inspiration from their lives, and continue the work of securing our country and standing up for the values that they embodied. We also mourn the Afghans who died alongside our troops in pursuit of a more peaceful and hopeful future for their country."

President Hamid Karzai sent his condolences to President Obama, according to a statement issued by his office.


"A NATO helicopter crashed last night in Wardak province," Karzai said in the statement, adding that 31 American special operations troops were killed. "President Karzai expressed his deep condolences because of this incident and expressed his sympathy to Barack Obama."


NATO confirmed the overnight crash and said the alliance was conducting a recovery operation at the site and investigating the cause of the crash, but did not release details or a casualty figure. The coalition said there "was enemy activity in the area."


"We are aware of an incident involving a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a NATO spokesman. "We are in the process of accessing the facts."

Of the 3o dead Americans, as many as 25 Navy SEALs died, a senior military official told ABC News. 38 people were killed in all. The New York Times reports that 22 Navy SEALs had died.



CBS News correspondent Charles D'Agata said on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" that, "Nighttime strikes are one of the most successful ways U.S. forces have to battle Taliban hideouts, but they're also one of the riskiest."


A spokesman for Wardak province, Shahidullah Shahid, said the helicopter crashed in the Sayd Abad district of Wardak province. The volatile region borders the province of Kabul where the Afghan capital is located and is known for its strong Taliban presence.

The provincial governor spokesman spokesman told CBS News that the joint operation targeting a suspected Taliban compound started shortly after midnight and the Chinook which was ferrying U.S. and Afghan special forces was hit and crashed in to the valley. The spokesman could not give any firm number of casualties as the area has been sealed off by U.S. forces but said that there have been large number of casualties.



Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed the downed aircraft was a U.S. military helicopter and that the Taliban fighters had brought it down with a rocket attack.


In a written statement released Saturday, Mujahid said that NATO attacked a house in Sayd Abad where insurgent fighters were gathering Friday night.


Mujahid said the Taliban fired on NATO and downed the helicopter, killing all the crew. He said eight insurgents also died.

The New York Times cites a military official who requested anonymity as saying the helicopter was shot down by insurgents using a rocket-propelled grenade.


in June 2005, 16 American troops were killed when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Kunar province after apparently being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.


At NATO headquarters in Brussels, an official said it was a twin-rotor Chinook helicopter. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was receiving his information from an Afghan officer in Kabul.


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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:29


In the single-most deadly attack on American forces since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, 31 American military personnel have been killed in an apparent missile attack on a chopper. Among the dead were 25 of the elite Navy SEALs fighting force, six other American troops, and seven Afghan personnel.

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Early in the morning of August 6, a surface-to-air missile is believed to have been fired into an American Chinook helicopter, causing it to crash in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. The National Journal reported that 31 American military personnel, including 25 Navy SEALs, were killed in the deadliest single-day attack on American forces since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001.

The Taliban were quick to take credit for the downed chopper. The U. S.-led coalition issued a statement noting that there had been increased hostile activity in the area of the shootdown and the exact circumstances of the downed craft was under investigation. However, officials believe that a surface-to-air missile was used in the incident.

At least 38 individuals were killed. Besides the 31 Americans, seven Afghan personnel were reportedly killed as well.

The National Journal reported that none of the deceased Navy SEALs appear to have been among the contingent that stormed Osama bin Laden's compound in May.

The news comes in the wake of increasing pressure on the Obama administration by the Left and the Right to do something about the increasingly drawn-out, expensive, and deadly war in Afghanistan. Not only are criticisms coming from Democrats and liberals to end the seemingly counterproductive and aimless war, but there is increasing pressure from Republicans and conservatives to trim the fiscal budgets (and defense spending in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been glaring examples of seeming needless expenditures) as well. In a Pew Research Center poll released in June, the American public also want American troops out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible, the first time a poll has suggested such a move.

The deaths of so many Americans in a single incident will undoubtedly reinforce sentiments that the conflict in Afghanistan, at least as far as American involvement is concerned, should end.

In an effort to assuage American public opinion, and against the advice of many of his military advisors, President Obama announced earlier this year that 10,000 troops would be removed from Afghanistan by year's end, with an additional 23,000 being removed by September 2012. At present, there are 90,000 American troops in country as part of the NATO coalition, which numbers 132,000.

As of August 6, the United States had seen 1,725 troops killed in the conflict, with the total number of annual killed rising every year since 2006. Last year, 499 Americans were killed in the nation that has been given the nickname "Graveyard of Empires" because of the attritional effects the country and its peoples have traditionally had on invading armies and occupiers.

Operation Enduring Freedom is the longest American war in its history. The United States will have been engaged in Afghanistan for ten years in October.


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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:36

Mueren 37 militares en Afganistán tras estrellarse un helicóptero de la OTAN


Entre las víctimas hay 30 estadounidenses, siete soldados afganos y un intérprete.- Es mayor número de muertes ocurridas en un solo siniestro desde el comienzo de la misión en 2001


La de este sábado ha sido la peor jornada para el Ejército norteamericano desde que comenzó la invasión de Afganistán hace una década. En un ataque con una granada propulsada por un lanzacohetes, los insurgentes islamistas han derribado en la provincia de Wardak, al oeste de Kabul, un helicóptero Chinhook con soldados de la Fuerza Internacional de Asistencia para la Seguridad [ISAF] de la OTAN, que participaban en la batida de un refugio de operativos afiliados a los Talibán. Fallecieron al menos 38 personas. Un comunicado de la OTAN ha confirmado que entre las víctimas hay 30 sodados estadounidenses, siete soldades afganos y un intérprete. En un un primer momento fuentes oficiales del Gobierno de Kabul informaron de que se trataa de 31 soldados de EEU UU y siete afganos.


En el comunicado, la OTAN no da más detalles sobre las víctimas ni sobre las causas que han provocado la caída del helicóptero.

El ataque se produjo en el marco del inicio de la retirada norteamericana de Afganistán. En junio, el presidente Barack Obama anunció que este año se replegarán 10.000 soldados. Otros 23.000 regresarán a EE UU antes del próximo verano. Aun quedarán en Afganistán unas 70.000 tropas tras esa primera retirada. En 2014, el Gobierno afgano será el único responsable de la seguridad nacional de su país. El Pentágono le había aconsejado al presidente una salida más lenta.

El ataque de Wardak se produjo en la madrugada del viernes al sábado. Un segundo helicóptero se vio obligado a hacer un aterrizaje de emergencia en la provincia de Khost, sin víctimas, según portavoces de ISAF. Según el Gobierno afgano, los soldados fallecidos pertenecían a las fuerzas de operaciones especiales, encargadas de misiones contrainsurgentes de alto riesgo y no convencionales. Un portavoz del Pentágono dijo que se 22 eran operativos del cuerpo SEALS de la Marina, los que acabaron con Osama bin Laden en mayo.

Los Talibán admitieron la autoría del ataque a la agencia Associated Press, asegurando que habían abatido el helicóptero cuando participaba en una operación de asalto a una residencia donde se reunían operativos insurgentes. La OTAN ha confirmado que el helicóptero se hallaba en "zona de actividad enemiga".

La misión militar comenzó en 2001, tras los atentados terroristas contra Nueva York y Washington. Obama anunció el principio de su fin en junio, un mes después de la muerte del líder de Al Qaeda. Hay en este momento unas 96.000 tropas norteamericanas sobre el terreno, según datos de la Casa Blanca. El año pasado fue el de más víctimas para el Ejército norteamericano, con 499 soldados fallecidos. En 2011 ya han fallecido 279, según un recuento de Reuters.

Desde Camp David, el presidente Obama ha emitido un comunicado, lamentando la pérdida de los soldados: "Sus muertes son un recordatorio de los extraordinarios sacrificios que asumen los hombres y mujeres de nuestro ejército y sus familias, incluidos aquellos que prestan servicio en Afganistán... En estos momentos difíciles, todos los norteamericanos nos unimos en apoyo a los hombres y mujeres de uniforme, que prestan servicio para que podamos vivir de forma libre y segura". Su homólogo afgano, Hamid Karzai, le llamó previamente para expresar sus condolencias.

El refuerzo de tropas ordenado por el presidente Obama ha debilitado a los insurgentes en las provincias del sur de Afganistán, que tradicionalmente fueron un bastión Talibán. Los rebeldes, sin embargo, han recurrido a ataques menos convencionales, como atentados suicidas perpetrados en núcleos urbanos. Los atentados se han incrementado sobre todo en el este del país, cerca de la zona de Kabul.

Antes del último ataque, el día en que se habían registrado más muertes en un ataque contra las tropas aliadas fue el 28 de junio de 2005, cuando los Talibán abatieron un helicóptero en la provincia de Kunar. Murieron 16 soldados del equipo SEALS de la Marina y del cuerpo de misiones especiales del Ejército de Tierra. Hasta la fecha, los ataques a helicópteros en Afganistán se han cobrado las vidas de más de 90 soldados aliados.


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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 10:40

El presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama, lamentó este sábado la muerte de 31 soldados estadounidenses y 7 afganos al estrellarse su helicóptero durante una operación contra los talibanes en Afganistán, pero aseguró que continuará luchando por la seguridad nacional.

«Su muerte es un recordatorio de los sacrificios extraordinarios que hacen nuestros hombres y mujeres en el Ejército y sus familias, incluyendo aquellos que prestan servicio en Afganistán», dijo Obama en un comunicado emitido hoy por la Casa Blanca.

«Buscaremos inspiración en sus vidas, y continuaremos la labor de resguardar a nuestro país y defender los valores que (los soldados) encarnaron», aseguró el mandatario.

Asimismo, el gobernante estadounidense lamentó la muerte de los siete afganos que combatieron junto a las tropas estadounidenses «en la búsqueda de un futuro más pacífico y esperanzador para su país».

«En esta difícil hora, todos los estadounidenses se unen para apoyar a nuestros hombres y mujeres soldados que prestan servicio para que podamos vivir en libertad y seguridad», puntualizó.

Asimismo, la Casa Blanca elogió el «valor ejemplar» y la determinación de los soldados estadounidenses y afganos de fortalecer la seguridad mundial.

«Mantendremos la marcha para completar esa misión, para la cual ellos y todos los que han prestado servicio y perdido la vida en Afganistán han hecho el mayor sacrificio», dijo Panetta, quien se sumó al envío de condolencias a las familias de las víctimas.

La líder de la minoría demócrata en la Cámara de Representantes, Nancy Pelosi, dijo que la muerte de soldados estadounidenses «siempre es una gran tragedia para nuestra nación» y que el suceso de anoche "es un recordatorio del servicio y sacrificio de nuestras tropas".

Los 38 soldados murieron anoche en el distrito de Saydabad, en el centro de Afganistán, al estrellarse su helicóptero en el transcurso de una operación contra los talibanes, que dijeron haber derribado el aparato.

Este ha sido el más sangriento suceso para las tropas estadounidenses desplegadas en Afganistán desde el inicio, en el año 2001, de la invasión del país, donde continúan presentes unos 133.000 soldados de la Alianza Atlántica, la mayoría de Estados Unidos.

El presidente afgano, Hamid Karzai, envió sus condolencias a Obama y también a las familias de las víctimas.


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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 18:29




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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 22:35



Última edición por doc_breacher el Jue 11 Ago 2011 - 19:53, editado 2 veces

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por SiX el Dom 7 Ago 2011 - 23:50

Gracias por recopilar información Doc. Yo me enteré ayer.

Rest in Peace warriors, your sacrifices will not be in vain.







...............................
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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por hitman el Lun 8 Ago 2011 - 0:06

Magnifico acopio de información, todo 100% confirmado. R.I.P.

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por getsome el Lun 8 Ago 2011 - 4:14

R.I.P

"Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit"



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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por surf_ranger el Lun 8 Ago 2011 - 4:31

Una vez más, muchas gracias por la información Doc. R.I.P.

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por Brams6976 el Lun 8 Ago 2011 - 6:13

R.I.P, may the lord have them in his mercy.

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por Hell_Noize el Lun 8 Ago 2011 - 8:31

Malditos RPGs.

Rest in Peace comrads.

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por Facer el Miér 10 Ago 2011 - 20:03

R.I.P.

N.P.: tiene que ser una putada para estos guerreros caer asi. Mis respetos a tan grandes tios.

P.D.: Doc, muchas gracias por tanta informacion y tan buena.

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por Hell_Noize el Miér 10 Ago 2011 - 21:35

Totalmente deacuerdo contigo Facer, no tiene que haber cosa que más rabia les dé a sus compañeros y a ellos mismos, que fallecer de esta manera, no han podido defenderse de ninguna forma.

En fin, no dejan de ser auténticos heroes y guerreros a los que respetamos enormemente.

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por SS NSW el Jue 11 Ago 2011 - 2:58



RIP

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Re: Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead 08/06/11

Mensaje por Contenido patrocinado Hoy a las 18:53


Contenido patrocinado


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