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Copter Downed by Taliban Fire; Elite U.S. Unit Among Dead

August 6, 2011 Comments off

nytimes.com

S. Sabawoon/European Pressphoto Agency

Afghan insurgents on Saturday said they had shot down a Chinook transport helicopter similar to the one seen loading troops in Kabul in 2004

The attack in Wardak Province killed seven Afghans.

KABUL, Afghanistan — In the deadliest day for American forces in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, insurgents shot down a Chinook transport helicopter on Saturday, killing 30 Americans, including some Navy Seal commandos from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as 8 Afghans, American and Afghan officials said.

The helicopter, on a night-raid mission in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province, to the west of Kabul, was most likely brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade, one coalition official said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, and they could hardly have found a more valuable target: American officials said that 22 of the dead were Navy Seal commandos, including members of Seal Team 6. Other commandos from that team conducted the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Bin Laden in May. The officials said that those who were killed Saturday were not involved in the Pakistan mission.

Saturday’s attack came during a Read more…

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Bodyguard Who Killed Karzai’s Brother Was Trusted CIA Asset

July 17, 2011 2 comments

infiniteunknown

The bodyguard who assassinated President Hamid Karzai’s brother had been working closely with US Special Forces and the CIA before he was recruited by the Taliban, raising fears over the Islamist movement’s increasingly sophisticated intelligence apparatus which has managed to threaten the inner circles of power in Afghanistan.

Sardar Mohammad, who shot Ahmed Wali Karzai at his home in Kandahar City on Tuesday, also held regular meetings with British officials, and had two brothers-in-law serving in a CIA-run paramilitary unit, the Kandahar Strike Force, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

Yet evidence is emerging that the Taliban recruited Mohammad – who was believed to be a friend, confidant and trusted lieutenant of Ahmed Wali Karzai – in an infiltration of the Read more…

Flood of US weapons in Afghanistan and Pakistan fueling militant groups, experts say

June 22, 2011 Comments off
Pakistan us weapons smuggling 2011 6 21

Local residents walk past a burning NATO supply truck after an attack by gunmen on the outskirts of Quetta on June 19, 2011. (Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Some of the U.S. weapons bound for U.S. and Afghan troops in Afghanistan are being stolen, landing instead in the hands of those they are meant to be used against, and fueling militant groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistani officials say.

These weapons — which are typically snatched from Afghan troops during raids or sold by them to the Pakistani Taliban after they defect, are easily available in black markets in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

Some weapons, along with other military-issue supplies, are also being seized by Taliban militants in attacks on NATO convoys passing through Pakistan on their way to resuply soldiers in Afghanistan. Although such raids have been taking place for years, the Pakistani Taliban appear to have widened the zone where they are willing to operate, attacking NATO trucks in major cities as well, including in the capital of Islamabad as recently as June 9.

An estimated one-third of the supplies bound for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan travel by land from Read more…

Afghanistan’s Karzai Demands End to Airstrikes on Houses

May 31, 2011 Comments off

voanews

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul, May 31, 2011Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference at the Presidential palace in Kabul, May 31, 2011

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is warning NATO forces in his country that he will no longer allow them to target houses with airstrikes.  The warning follows an airstrike Afghan officials say killed 14 people Saturday, including women and children, in Helmand Province.

Karzai said his demand for NATO to stop airstrikes that kill Afghan civilians is his “last warning.” But he would not clarify what actions the Kabul government would take if the bombings continue.

He said he would be bringing up the issue when he next meets with NATO commanders.

In the past, the Read more…

Chinese weapons fall into hands of insurgents

February 10, 2011 Comments off

Insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq have obtained Chinese-made weapons

Chinese-made weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan because of China’s failure to enforce export controls on arms to Iran, the leaked cables show.

By Gordon Rayner

US diplomats also feared that Chinese companies were selling materials to Iran that could be used to build nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.

Chinese-made guns, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles containing Chinese-made components, have all been used against Coalition forces or civilian targets in Iraq, the US claims, while other weapons have been obtained by militants in Afghanistan.

The US was so concerned about Chinese arms and components being sold to Iran that in September 2008 the State Department launched a major diplomatic offensive to put pressure on Beijing.

It decided to share intelligence with eight “key allies” including Spain and Italy to “persuade China to enforce its export control laws more effectively” and to “aggressively implement” UN Security Council resolutions on the sale of arms and weapons materials.

Ambassadors were told to encourage the foreign governments to point out to the Chinese that arms sales to Iran “could ultimately damage China’s reputation and its bilateral relationship with” each of the countries.

China Funneling Weapons to Afghanistan

January 27, 2011 1 comment

Originally published on www.DarkGovernment.com

The Chinese are believed to be working with Afghan Taliban groups who are now in combat with NATO forces, prompting concerns that China might become the conduit for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, improved communications and additional small arms to the fundamentalist Muslim fighters.

SA-18 GrouseQW-1M / SA-18 Grouse Anti-Aircraft Weapon 

A British military official contends that Chinese specialists have been seen training Taliban fighters in the use of infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles. This is supported by a May 13, 2008, classified U.S. State Department document released by WikiLeaks telling U.S. officials to confront Chinese officials about missile proliferation.

China is developing knock-offs of Russian-designed man-portable air defense missiles (manpads), including the QW-1 and later series models. The QW-1 Vanguard is an all-aspect, 35-lb. launch tube and missile that is reverse-engineered from the U.S. Stinger and the SA-16 Gimlet (9K310 Igla-1). China obtained SA-16s from Unita rebels in then-Zaire who had captured them from Angolan government forces. The 16g missiles have a slant range of 50,000 ft. The QW-1M is a variant that incorporates even more advanced SA-18 Grouse (9K38 Igla) technology. Read more…