An F-16 airstrike has killed the Taliban insurgents who brought down a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan over the weekend, killing 38 Afghan and American troops, including 22 Navy SEALs from the fabled SEAL Team 6.
The precision strike nailed not only the trigger man, but his boss, Mullah Mohibullah. They were trying to flee Afghanistan when special ops forces located them and called in the air strike. Several other Taliban members were vaporized along with them, but NATO is confident there were no civilian casualties.
The Taliban leader who was targeted by the operation those SEALs were on their way to reinforce, Din Mohammad, is still at large. The UK Daily Mail has been hearing rumors from a “top Afghan government official” that the whole thing was a trap:
A top Afghan government official claimed Taliban commander Qari Tahir lured American forces to the scene by telling them a meeting of the militia group was happening.
The anonymous source also told AFP that four Pakistanis helped Tahir carry out the hit.
“Now it’s confirmed that the helicopter was shot down and it was a trap that was set by a Taliban commander,” he told AFP. “The Taliban knew which route the helicopter would take.”
“They took position on the either side of the valley on mountains and as the helicopter approached, they attacked it with rockets and other modern weapons. It was brought down by multiple shots.”
He added that President Hamid Karzai’s American-backed government believes the attack was retaliation against the U.S. for the killing of Bin Laden in May.
The remains of the American soldiers killed in the helicopter crash arrived at Dover Air Force Base yesterday, where a ceremony was attended by President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, among others.