SEALs were going after Taliban leader when helicopter shot down, officials say
Helicopter shot down after forces pursued Taliban target, officials say
August 7th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

SEALs were going after Taliban leader when helicopter shot down, officials say

The 22 Navy SEALs 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 U.S. military officials have told CNN.

Get up to date on the incident that happened Saturday in Afghanistan

According to new information CNN's Barbara Starr obtained, the SEALs who were killed had been called in to assist another unit on the ground pinned down in a firefight. 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 at the crash site in order to remove all the wreckage, and prevent insurgents from taking photos of the scene to use as a "propaganda tool," one official said. Investigators will be examining the wreckage, but the same official said the crash was catastrophic that there may be little to glean from it. The United States had specific reports of enemy weapons activity in the same area at the time of the crash, so officials continue to assume that the Chinook was shot down. One of the officials also said that while the Chinook helicopter has been described as a "conventional" aircraft, it did have all the latest electronic equipment and that the crew had special operations training.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Taliban • Terrorism
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. sherriw

    Wayyyyy too much hatred.... Condolensence to the famalies.

    August 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shah Rukh Kahn

    It has the signature of Pakistan's ISI all over it. Revenge for Abbottabad!

    August 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Copters flying in their skies have always been a target. Sometimes they get lucky.
    Its a sad reminder that its time we pull out , before more American lives are lost & Afghan civilians killed.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gung hoe

    You dont put 32 seal team six soldiers on one chinook the price of the cargo is just way to expensive and whats more to not have any armed companions is like committing suicide Something sure smells awfully FISHY HERE

    August 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      You are an idiot. How do you expect them to get there? Via teleportation device? What's so fishy? They were called for QRF and were shot down

      August 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jessie olitoquit

    Good morning all. I just heard over the TV, listening to CNN news about this tragic event. I am in the Navy and I feel the pain learning about this. I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and I'm sick and tired of their bickering anyway.

    Mr. Obama, our Commander-in-Chief, just released a press statement through the White House Office of the Press Secretary. If I were him, I would have called for an immediate press conference, faced and nation through the media, and conveyed his message to the affected families of our service members. This is the time that we, who serve our country defending our freedom, need him the most. To do simple gestures like this is not for political reasons but out of humanity and respect for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice answering his call. He was the one who sent them their. He should have the decency to honor them more appropriately. He was all over the cable TV, and in fact, he called for a press conference when the SEALS killed OBL. Now that 30 service members, and most of them are SEALS, died in Afghanistan, he just sent an official press release? V/R Jessie

    August 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Press conference for what? It's war and people die. Bush didn't hold a press conference when over 20 SEALs died and 4 missing during Operation Redwing. I'm tired of you armchair quarterbacks

      August 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miranda

      You people always have something negative to say about Obama, whether he does something good or bad. He was elected into all this war and debt crap. Bush was the one who sent troops overseas first, not Obama! He's just trying to clean up the freaking mess.

      August 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    @ jessie olitoquit

    Right. We are proud of those who lay their lives on line for their country & we salute them. Our hearts & prayers go out to the families.
    These senseless wars are going nowhere & their arrogant, ignorant architects have sacrificed enough precious American lives on their altar of greed, ideology & leadership devoid of statesmanship.

    Our troops need to get back home from where they do not belong and had no business to be sent there in the first place.

    August 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. raven

    Hey my sista! hope e.l.t. is good. And for all you conspiracy theorists: why cant you just acknowledge that people died for your freedoms before you start in on the mechanism of their death ?

    August 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |

    Veterans Today tells the truth about this entire establishment scam!

    August 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gee

    This all seems a bit too convenient. This incident will no doubt extend the mission. I bet Panetta is happy about that.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Corpman

    Pull the troops? Nuts!! We need to get payback! Go after them, make them feel the pain. Step up the drone attacks. Avenge the troops that died. They don't want your pity or your need to run the opposite direction every time things go bad.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mack

    Each person who called them heroes is correct.
    The mission is another matter.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Galactic Cannibal

    The Taliban enemy are not stupid. They are fighting the world's mightiest Military power who have invaded their country. They previously fought the Mighty Soviet Union military who bailed out. Wise up Pres Obama and get our troops out of Afghanistan. Otherwise let our troops use the full force of their fire power WITH NO RESTRICTIONS. This is a WAR Pres Obama don't you understand that. Your clap trap political oratory such as "that the crash serves as a reminder of the "extraordinary sacrifices" being made by the U.S. military and its families. " has no meaning for the enemy. " Get on with this war without handcuffing our troops , or get out . One more thing Mr Pres. what idiot US commander packed all those seals into a 40 year old slow moving aircraft , and flew it into enemy territory. And Or has it occurred to you that an Afghanistan soldier tipped off the Taliban.. That entire region is populated with corrupt and untrustworthy tribal people who have low regard for any life and have been warring with each other for thousands of years.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mack

    @ Galactic Cannibal:
    The President has many good intentions.
    I do not think that he really does understand what a war is.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul Battis

    Why no photo of the debris trail or crash site? Why do we believe this happened? Because you and our leaders say so? Not good enough. Show proof. And CNN and government higher-ups running their mouths is not proof.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gee

    @corpman: With all due respect this was planned to initiate the same response you are giving. Revenge revenge revenge back and forth, t I t for tat.. All in the name of God, but it's really just foolish pride. Our military and our money are being wasted in a stupid game. Quit playing it please. For every propaganda piece they put out we can put one out of every American eating lobster and partying with beautiful girls while we laugh at their headless goat polo game. That's a sweeter revenge and much less costly. Besides I find it funny that Bin Laden was killed and dumped off a navy ship just like Megaton. Lol Obama Biden=Osama Bin Laden.. quit being a tool.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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