The NATO-led coalition on Sunday confirmed the death of 38 US and Afghan troops in a military helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. Thirty International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members, one civilian interpreter, and seven Afghan commandos were killed when a coalition CH-47 Chinook went down on Saturday as it was shot down from the ground. The incident is being counted the deadliest for the US since the start of its anti-terrorism campaign in 2001.
The Taliban has claimed that it has shot down the coalition helicopter in face-to-face clash with international troops in Sayed Abad district of Maidan Wardak province. In the last ten years, many of the NATO helicopters have crashed or have been shot down by the insurgents, although using various kinds of helicopters in fight against Taliban has been quite effective. On 28 June, 2005 the Taliban in a rocket attack had killed 15 US soldiers. That record is broken now.
The killing of such a big number of American and Afghan troops in a single incident would be counted as a victory by the Taliban. Also the incident would boost up the moral of Taliban. It might use it to promote its standing which is: complete victory is near and fight must continue against the occupiers of Afghanistan.
Fox News on Saturday quoted a Pentagon source as saying that among those killed in the crash were over 20 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land Teams) from the so-called Team Six that eliminated Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani compound on May 2. It is believed that these 20 Navy SEALS held the secret information of the operation that killed Osama and with them those secrets have also been buried.
The incident seems to have taken place due to human mistake. The US Special Forces and Afghan commandos have been operating all over Afghanistan and targeting the Taliban leaders especially in the last one year. It is possible they must have under-estimated the Taliban and therefore they came under unexpected attack. Whatever the cause is, it is a great loss for Americans and Afghans and should be properly investigated to avoid such incidents in the future.