ISAF captures Taliban commander behind the downing of US helicopter


US OH-58 Kiowas operating out of Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province, Afghanistan. Image from the US Department of Defense.

Coalition and Afghan special operations forces captured a Taliban commander who downed a US Army OH-58 Kiowa attack/scout helicopter in eastern Afghanistan on Sept. 5. Two US soldiers were killed in the shootdown of the $5 million aircraft. The captured Taliban commander has not been identified. From the ISAF press release:

An Afghan and coalition security force today arrested the Taliban leader responsible for the death of two American service members following a Sept. 5 helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban commander was successfully taken into custody by the security force following a joint effort by Afghan and coalition forces to identify and track down the Taliban insurgents responsible for the Sept. 5 attack. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

The Taliban leader and his insurgent cell coordinated the attack that downed an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, killing both service members aboard.

The security force also detained one suspected insurgent and seized improvised explosive device components and Taliban-associated materials during this operation.

On Sept. 5, the Taliban released a statement on Voice of Jihad claiming credit for shooting down two US helicopters in Logar province. The Taliban claimed a Chinook and an “attack helicopter” were downed on that day; however, there is no evidence that the Chinook was shot down on Sept. 5. The full statement is reproduced below:

A heavy fighting was reported in Logar province. There has been offensive against Mujahideen for the last couple of days which was successfully warded off by Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate on the outskirt of the capital of Logar province.

A number of the invading troops backed by aerial and support attacked Mujahideen which met with rigorous resistance causing the US invaders and their puppets deadly losses.

Amid bloody fighting Mujahideen shot down a large Chinook helicopter, causing it to set on fire in and killing all American terrorists aboard.

Shortly afterwards, Mujahideen brought down another attack helicopter setting it on fire.

More than 21 US terrorist troops were killed shooting down of the both helicopters. However, two of the Mujahideen combatants became martyrs in the drone attacks followed the shoot down.

The area has remained surrounded by the invaders and their puppets, whereas Mujahideen are still lying in ambush ready to strike terror in the hearts of the American cowardly troops.

The Taliban often claim to shoot down US helicopters, and occasionally are telling the truth. The Taliban have had a small measure of success in shooting down US helicopters, specifically the large Chinooks, in eastern Afghanistan over the past year. On Aug. 6, 2011, the Taliban shot down a US Army CH-47 Chinook in the Sayyidabad district in Wardak province; 38 US and Afghan troops, including 17 Navy SEALs, were killed in the attack.

On July 25, 2011, the Taliban shot down a Chinook with rocket-propelled grenades just one hundred yards outside of an Afghan Army base in the Pech Valley in Kunar province. No ISAF and Afghan troops were killed in the crash, however.

Additionally, the Taliban claimed they shot down a Chinook in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan a month ago, on Aug. 16. Seven US soldiers, three Afghan troops, and an Afghan interpreter were killed when a Chinook went down in the Shah Wali Kot district. ISAF has not released information on the cause of the crash.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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1 Comment

  • Nate says:

    Smells like this story is not true and meant to make people confident in a war that is already lost.
    These ‘crashes’ are now a usual part of the news, and some country or countries are supplying MANPADs


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