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. saywhat

    @corpman @ Galactic Cannibal

    Wrong on not pulling the troops out. We have been using full force & without discrimination. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the past decade both in Afghanistan & Pakistan. And we have achieved zilch. Killed Osama after thousands of Americans died & a trillion dollar went into that sinkhole ?
    Victory in Afghanistan, history tells us is a mirage at best. This longest running war in our history is going nowhere.
    China, India , Russia & Iran are the beneficiaries seeing this mighty nation of ours embroiled in wars draining ourselves to bankruptcy. While they quietly without spending a dime or expanding lives gain strength & influence in that region.
    If our political leadership has any sense of history or reality on the ground , it should realize the folly of continuing with military misadventures.

    August 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fernace

    Condolences to the families & friend of the soldiers! Thanks to the Armed Forces & NATO allied troops helping us in this futile war! To those taking the persident to task, y'all obviously have unrealistic expectations & poor grasp of who makes the decicions in Afghanistans war zones! He's not omnipotent or a Harry Potter wizard & has a whole House of politicians working against him at every step! In Afghanistan he relies on the professionals to make decisions & decide the best strategies! He's just a convenient person to blame! All you conspiracy theorist, can you rest it 'til we get some more info, I swear y'all would claim your conception was a conspiracy if your moms let you! Right now let's just have some reverence for the dead! RIP!!

    August 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wounded knee

    Hey SAM i dont know what kind of military training that youve had but your words prove not much Ok first of all idiot you dont put that expensive a cargo on a chinook without accompanying firepower they are protected going in as much as possible and the same out NOW as for press you betcha one of the first things obama shouldve done was to let the nation know Sam next time you want to talk about something as sensitive as this know what you are talking about or dont stop playing your video game

    August 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jaxonboy

    Tragic loss of life. The only way to win the war in Afghanistan is to nuke it. We aren't willing to do that, nor should we. So, bring the troops home and let the Taliban find someone else. We created the Taliban to fight the Russians. They love to fight, they are not worth our blood.

    August 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Roedy Green

    I it is a tradition to speak well of the dead, but CNN has been laying in on a bit thick, as if these men killed were saints.
    1. They were not defending their country. They were not defending American freedom. The Taliban are no threat to the USA. The USA attacked first unprovoked in an illegal resource war.
    2. These men killed enjoyed killing people. That is why they enlisted. They were professional hit men acting on behalf of the USA government. That is not an honourable profession.

    August 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Please continue on in this vein. Judging from what you've written so far, I'm sure you could manage to fill this entire page with things you know nothing about.

      August 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |

      Thank you, Roedy Green. I couldn't have said it better.

      August 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • dilberth

      Exactly my thoughts. These SEALs are just well-trained, ego-boosted, obnoxious jar-heads bent on committing barbaric acts. They are head-over-heals in love with themselves. Perhaps we could do an honorable thing and send their family members, a king-size box of Kleenex tissues.

      August 8, 2011 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Extremely well said, dilberth. Thank you. I just wish that more people here had your sense!

      August 8, 2011 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. jessie olitoquit

    @ Sam: You wrote this " It's war and people die." Did you have relatives or friends who have died serving their country? Have you ever deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan? Stop calling people names, i.e., idiots and armchair quarterbacks. Be professional. Stick to the issues and stop insulting bloggers with whom you disagree. We can agree to disagree, Sam. I shall stand to death you have the right to say it (Voltaire). Just don't cross the line.

    August 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    Thank you folks for responding to SAM you fine people responded to him before i could and ya did a fine job to dont know what possess some people sometime its like their trying to pick a fight online

    August 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    And i think its quite possible that SAM IS nothing more than a troll a get a raise so to say And he did

    August 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel

    We Americans can be the biggest crybabies of all when it comes to losing our own, but what about all the people these goons slew all throughout the war? Nobody weeps for them and all the right-wing blowhards in this country can say is "war is war"! The whole conflict stinks and that's all there is to it!

    August 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Good posting, Daniel. Thank you. Like you, I too am sick and tired of all this right-wing drivel!!!

      August 8, 2011 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Snorcle

    You gotta stop and THINK for just a SECOND – since 911 how many US Military & allies killed? – How many innocent civilians killed? How many billions/trillions $s spent? – and for what? Absolute ZERO results – actually we've made the World hate us EVEN more and made the globe an even UNSAFER place ... Hindsight may be 20/20 but DAMN did we go down the wrong path!

    August 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy

      Quite right, Snorcle. How true that rings!

      August 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy


    Comparing the TP to the North in the civil was is disingenuous, at best.
    At worst, it sounds like something a troll would say.
    I think it's both.

    August 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. WOT

    You people talk about the President as to (would a, should a, could a) but Bush started this War!

    August 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mmmmm

    It not the latest equipment that wins but whose the most innovative.

    August 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. les


    GET SMART. LEARN TO TAKE YOUR LUMPS IN SILENCE LIKE THE British SAS. THEN GET EVEN IN SILENCE. Never let the Enemy see you blink. War is no joke, if you ever begin to understand how much damage you do to those fighting by your inept broadcasting, calas reporting and hype journalism -- put it this way, imagine you just found out your love one's are dead on air – live. Do you think you'd feel their pain then?

    August 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • rudy

      I couldn't have said it better myself. I was just getting ready to comment on CNN reporting and how the are like vultures, ready to come in for their kill. Their prey? Unsuspecting people who have just had their world turned upside down!

      August 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Well......

    My condolances go to the families. But it angers me that American Officials allow everything to be told. Annoucing that it was Navy Seals that were killed only gives the enemy more reason to celibrate.

    August 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |

      More right-wing bla-bla-bla. It never ends, especially all that stupid belley-hooing over what these fools " did for our country"! They were there to kill people and that' that!!!

      August 8, 2011 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |

      More right-wing bla-bla-bla. It never ends, especially all that stupid belley-hooing over what these fools " did for our country"! They were there to kill people and that's that!!!

      August 8, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
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