August 7th, 2011
02:02 PM ET

Deadliest day – mission details emerge

By Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

The 38 troops and support killed when their helicopter was shot down in Wardak province were part of a mission to go after a known Taliban leader directly responsible for attacks against American troops, two US military officials have told CNN. The team, including 22 SEALs, special operations forces from other services, seven Afghan commandos and a civilian translator, had been called in to assist members of the 75th Army Ranger regiment on the ground pinned down in a firefight, according to a senior US military official.

The officials did not know if the Taliban leader had been killed. They declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of ongoing operations in the crash area.

Coalition forces remain in the area because a decision has been made to physically remove the entire wreckage from the scene in an effort to keep insurgent forces from taking photos and using the wreckage as a 'propaganda tool," one official said. Investigators will be examining the wreckage but he indicated the crash was so catastrophic there may be little they can learn. The US had specific reports of enemy weapons activity in the direct area at the time of the crash, so a shootdown remains the working assumption of what happened.

One of the officials also said while the Chinook helicopter has been described as a 'conventional" aircraft, it did have all the latest electronic equipment and the crew had special operations training

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. igoogleit

    Hmmm...sounds like the White House is covering something up – huh? Do you think Obama possibly killed the Navy Seals to prevent them from leaking the truth that bin Laden was not really captured and killed in may 2011, but really died back in 2001? And how can anybody release the secretative operation identity such as Navy Seals 6 before next of kin is notified? Hello people! Obama is your real terrorist and he needs to be impeached on the simple basis of not qualifying to be an American President before he takes our America down. He has almost succeeded economocially! After all, he still has not provided a REAL birth certificate, now has he??? What kind of CHANGE did Y-O-U- have in mind???

    August 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  2. JIM Fuhl

    As a veteran of the US Army for 4 + years active duty, I find it unbelievable that they crammed all these special ops soldiers into ONE single Chinook. It is the loudest chopper in the world. You can hear it coming for 5 + miles. How stupid are our military leaders to put all our resources in one basket? Also, why is the press not asking these questions? They should have put four to six smaller choppers in the air with teams of four maybe 5 each and had a few Apache attack as support.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply

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