A very sad for our country. 31 members of our country’s best were killed last night after they had assaulted a Taliban stronghold. It’s the single biggest lost of life, in one incident, in the 10 years we have been in 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 31 Americans and 7 Afghan commandos on board, American and Afghan officials said. American officials said later Saturday that 22 of the dead were members of a Navy SEAL unit, along with other American servicemembers and the Afghan unit. The helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province to the west of Kabul, one coalition official said, though others said the exact weapon remained in question.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which punctuated a surge of violence across the country, even as American and NATO forces begin a modest drawdown of troops. It occurred after a night raid, a tool that has been praised by American commanders as one of the most effective in the recent military offensive, though the raids have been heavily criticized by Afghan officials and civilians.
…There were conflicting accounts about when the helicopter went down. A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, said insurgents shot down the helicopter around 11 p.m. Friday as it was starting an operation on a house where the militants were gathering in the Tangi Joyee region of the district of Saidabad in the eastern part of the province. Eight militants were killed in the fight, which continued after the helicopter fell, Mr. Mujahid said…
Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy, police chief of Wardak, said the operation began around 1 a.m. Saturday as NATO and Afghan forces attacked a Taliban compound in Jaw-e-mekh Zareen village in the Tangi Valley. The firefight lasted at least two hours, the general said.
It appears that the Seal unit involved was Seal Team Six. The same unit that took down bin-Laden.
U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that they believe that none of the Navy SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan had participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although they were from the same unit that carried out the bin Laden mission.
Sources say that more than 20 Navy SEALs were among those lost in the crash in Afghanistan.
The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a regular Army crew. That’s according to AP military sources.
Another source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.
My question is how the Taliban knew to hit this specific helicopter? Apparently there were up to half a dozen helicopters used during the raid. Were they all from Seal Team Six or were they tipped off on which chopper to bring down? It seems too coincidental that this would happen soon after taking out bin-Laden.