US forces kill Taliban responsible for SEAL helicopter crash, say Afghan officials
While the raid is unlikely to have a significant effect on the Taliban, it holds symbolic importance for the US Special Forces community.
At least 13 of the militants responsible for shooting down a US helicopter carrying Navy SEAL Team 6 members, causing the single deadliest American loss since the Afghanistan War began were killed in an airstrike this week, say Afghan and US officials.Skip to next paragraph
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International forces reportedly acted on intelligence that members of the Taliban who shot down the Chinook helicopter on Saturday, killing 30 US military personnel and eight others in Afghanistan's Wardak province, were hiding approximately 20 miles from the crash site, preparing to flee the country to avoid capture.
While the airstrike is unlikely to have a significant impact on the Taliban, it bears symbolic importance for the US Special Forces community, especially the Navy SEALs who suffered one of the worst losses in the history of the organization when their helicopter was shot down last week.
“It’s not important for the Taliban. If they lose a group like this, they can easily find more fighters,” says Farouk Meranai, a former member of parliament from Nangarhar province. He adds that people should be more concerned with whether insurgents now have anti-aircraft capabilities. “If they got the chopper in Wardak then they can do it in other parts of Afghanistan.”
In an airstrike on Tuesday, International Security Assistance Forces say they targeted a safe house where the militants were hiding. The strike killed 13 of them, says Abdul Kayum Baqizoi, the police chief of Wardak province. Two militants managed to escape.
“These are the Taliban who were involved in the attack against the chopper,” he says. Officials from the Wardak governor’s office have also confirmed the militants’ connection to the helicopter attack.