How did the Taliban know which route the helicopter would take? How long are U.S. officials going to trust Afghan forces who have consistently shown themselves to be unworthy of trust? “US helicopter crashed in Taliban trap: Afghan official,” by Sabawoon Amarkhail for AFP, August 9:
The Taliban lured US forces into an elaborate trap to shoot down their helicopter, killing 30 American troops in the deadliest such incident of the war, an Afghan official said Monday.
US President Barack Obama pledged that the incident — which killed 38 people — would not keep foreign forces from prevailing in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon called the downing of the Chinook a “one-off” that would not alter US strategy.
The late Friday attack marked the biggest single loss of life for American and NATO forces since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban in late 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks.
The loss of the Chinook during an anti-Taliban operation southwest of Kabul dealt a blow to elite US special forces, which had 25 members on board — 22 US Navy SEAL commandos and three Air Force Special Operations Forces.
Five US Army personnel, seven Afghan commandos and an interpreter also died.
A senior Afghan government official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Taliban commander Qari Tahir lured US forces to the scene by tipping them off that a Taliban meeting was taking place.
He also said four Pakistanis helped Tahir carry out the strike.
“Now it’s confirmed that the helicopter was shot down and it was a trap that was set by a Taliban commander,” said the official, citing intelligence gathered from the area.
“The Taliban knew which route the helicopter would take,” he continued.
“That’s the only route, so they took position on the either side of the valley on mountains and as the helicopter approached, they attacked it with rockets and other modern weapons. It was brought down by multiple shots.”…