We lost 31 SpecOps Warriors

Seven

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31 US troops killed, Afghan prez says, when chopper apparently shot down - NYPOST.com


31 US troops killed, Afghan prez says, when chopper apparently shot down
Last Updated: 9:48 AM, August 6, 2011
Posted: 7:33 AM, August 6, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan — A military helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops and seven Afghan commandos, the country’s president said Saturday. An American official said it was apparently shot down, in the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.

The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak late Friday. It said wreckage of the craft was strewn at the scene.

NATO confirmed the overnight crash took place and that there “was enemy activity in the area.” But it said it was still investigating the cause and conducting a recovery operation at the site. It did not release details or casualty figures.

“We are in the process of accessing the facts,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a NATO spokesman.

But a senior U.S. administration official in Washington said it was apparently shot down. by insurgents. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the crash is still being investigated.

The toll would surpass the worst single day loss of life for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001 — the June 28, 2005 downing of a military helicopter in eastern Kunar province. In that incident, 16 Navy SEALs and Army special operations troops were killed when their craft was shot down while on a mission to rescue four SEALs under attack by the Taliban. Three of the SEALs being rescued were also killed and the fourth wounded. It was the highest one-day death toll for the Navy Special Warfare personnel since World War II.

With its steep mountain ranges, providing shelter for militants armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, eastern Afghanistan is hazardous terrain for military aircraft. Large, slow-moving air transport carriers like the CH-47 Chinook are particularly vulnerable, often forced to ease their way through sheer valleys where insurgents can achieve more level lines of fire from mountainsides.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday gave the first public word of the new crash, saying in a statement that “a NATO helicopter crashed last night in Wardak province” and that 31 American special operations troops were killed. He expressed his condolences to President Barack Obama.

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

The crash took place in the Sayd Abad district of Wardak province, said a provincial government spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid. The volatile region borders the province of Kabul where the Afghan capital is located and is known for its strong Taliban presence.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that Taliban fighters downed the helicopter during a “heavy raid” in Sayd Abad. He said NATO attacked a house in Sayd Abad where insurgent fighters were gathering Friday night. During the battle, the fighters shot down the helicopter, killing 31 Americans and seven Afghans, he said, adding that eight insurgents were killed in the fight.

There have been at least 17 coalition and Afghan aircraft crashes in Afghanistan this year.

Most of the crashes were attributed to pilot errors, weather conditions or mechanical failures. However, the coalition has confirmed that at least one CH-47F Chinook helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade on July 25. Two coalition crew members were injured in that attack.

Meanwhile, in the southern Helmand province, an Afghan government official said Saturday that NATO troops attacked a house and inadvertently killed eight members of a family, including women and children.

NATO said that Taliban fighters fired rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire at coalition troops during a patrol Friday in the Nad Ali district.

“Coalition forces responded with small arms fire and as the incident continued, an air strike was employed against the insurgent position,” said Brockhoff. He added that NATO sent a delegation to meet with local leaders and investigate the incident.

Nad Ali district police chief Shadi Khan said civilians died in the bombardment but that it was unknown how many insurgents were killed.

Helmand, a Taliban stronghold, is the deadliest province in Afghanistan for international troops.

NATO has come under harsh criticism in the past for accidentally killing civilians during operations against suspected insurgents. However, civilian death tallies by the United Nations show the insurgency is responsible for most war casualties involving noncombatants.

In south Afghanistan, NATO said two coalition service member were killed, one on Friday and another on Saturday. The international alliance did not release further details.

With the casualties from the helicopter crash, the deaths bring to 365 the number of coalition troops killed this year in Afghanistan and 42 this month.



Read more: 31 US troops killed, Afghan prez says, when chopper apparently shot down - NYPOST.com
 

TeleDog

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R.I.P.
soldier-grave.jpg
 

Hamtone

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Damn. Thats a lot of warriors and families that are hurting today. A lot of people forget the impact of a death at war. All of the buddies and the family at home, in this case thats about 500 people hurting for the loss. I have bros in that area, its still the wild west. To me what is worse in this scenerio the men had no chance as far as having control of their fate. Its also quite odd at least in my experience to have that many specilized troops on a single bird, they definatelt were coming in heavy for something. Rip brothers
 

Scooter2112

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So sorry to hear of this....RIP men. :(
 

bildozr

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I'm shocked. 31 of the best guys. 31 is a big loss period, but 31 of the best trained guys who dedicated their lives to what they do. :(

Rip boys. See you home soon.
 

BillB1960

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That's a shame. These are some of the finest & bravest warriors in the world, willing & able to go head to head and win against any bad guys this planet has to offer. Unfortunately when they're stuck inside an aluminum tube doing it's damndest to come apart at the seams their skills can't help. My thoughts & prayers go out to their families.
 

Publius pro tem

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To me what is worse in this scenerio the men had no chance as far as having control of their fate.
Same thing crossed my mind - they're trained to get themselves (and their buddies) out of ANYTHING....

... but a Chinook with a bunch of holes blown in it tumbling toward the earth while shedding big parts and pieces.

My God.

Not quite sure how to express this properly, but at least those guys were aware of the danger.
This isn't a surprise/suicide attack with people standing around and innocents being targeted in a marketplace.

These men knew what the business entails better than just about anyone - and it's a DANGEROUS business.
They died while performing duties what few men would ever even hear about, let alone commit to.

God rest their souls, and bless their families/friends with strength.



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Seven

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Just read 25 warriors were from DEVGRU and 6 were from the 1/60th. Time for some F#$%ing Payback!!
 

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