Media Reporting on the Return of the Taliban
U2s Do Not Crash by accident: It was returning from Afghanistan
by New Trend's Media monitor
U.S. media started reporting on the new fighting in Afghanistan in May
2005. Most of these reports are brief and indicate two aspects of the
* The attacks are being carried out by the Taliban with U.S.
troops on the defensive.
* All the attacks are small scale but they have created a steady
flow of U.S. casualties, with an average of one to three killed and 4
to 8 wounded.
* Suddenly, last week, the U.S. announced that it hit the Taliban
twice by air, killing 40 in one attack and 60 in the other.
* These days the Taliban are openly commenting to Pakistani media
on the fighting. Lutfullah Hakeemi, the Taliban spokesman,
categorically denied that there had been any such incidents in which
the U.S. claims it killed so many Taliban.
* Our analysts say that just about all reports indicate that the
Taliban, like a practiced guerrilla force, do not travel in groups of
more than 10 or maximum 20. Thus the U.S. claims are most probably the
result of wish fulfilment concocted in Kabul and could well be civlian
casualties resulting from U.S. air raids.
* U.S. media do not report losses inflicted on Afghan
collaborators by the Taliban. For this New Trend depends on Pakistan's
Urdu press. The boldest move by the Taliban was their swift takeover
of a district heaquarter in the Kandahar area where they captured 31
police officers. Of these the district police chief Nanai and his 7
body guards, known for their atrocities against villagers, were tried
by Sharia court and executed. The rest were released.
* Recently, U.S. media reported that a U2 spy plane crashed while
landing at its air base in the United Arab Emirates. Most media did
not note, with one exception, that the plane was returning from a
mission in Afghanistan. The plane's pilot was killed in the crash,
indicating that hostile fire might have been the cause.
* Some say that the Taliban are using the Stingers left over from
the anti-Soviet war. Pakistani newspapers received a video from
Al-Qaida which shows an F-16 being shot down by a stinger which the
video claims was indigenously produced.
* Al-Qaida callng Pakistani papers also claims that the U.S. claim
of killing Islamic leader Abul Haitham Yemeni inside Pakistan, using a
pilotless plane, is false and Yemeni is alive. The drone did fire but
missed its target, they say.
* On June 6, Pakistan handed over Maulvi Ahmed Talha, former
Taliban governor of Paktia, to the U.S. He had taken refuge in Pakistan.
* June 15. In an "in-your-face" kind of interview with Pakistan's
indeprendent Geo TV, Taliban military commander Mullah Akhtar Usmani
said that BOTH Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden are alive and well and
are living in areas of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban. The
interview, according to GEO, was carried out near Spin Voldak south of
TALIBAN VICTORY CONFIRMED in KUNAR PROVINCE
One Segment of battle clear, One more foggy
U.S. sources have confirmed the downing of a Chinook helicopter and
the loss of 16 troops, including 8 of the elite [of the elite] Navy Seals.
The Taliban made the claim BEFORE the U.S. news media caught on. The
reports now available in the U.S. and Pakistani media indicate a
Taliban victory. They used an RPG to bring down the Chinook. The
Taliban then rushed the downed plane, mostly intact, and killed the
Navy Seals and others in hand to hand fighting.
A SECOND ITEM which has not been fully confirmed, though mentioned, is
being claimed by the Taliban. According to Lutfullah Hakeemi, the
Taliban spokesman, an ENTIRE U.S. reconaissance unit has been wiped
out by the Taliban. At least 7 of U.S.' best troops have been killed
in this battle. The Chinook was bringing reinforcements to this unit.
[CIA agent Zalmai Khalilzad, who was installed as the U.S.
representative in Kabul, suffered a shock from this setback, and had
to be hospitalized. He has been telling American leaders that the
Taliban are no longer a significant force.]
U.S. Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan
By DANIEL COONEY
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A U.S. CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter,
which a military official said may have been carrying 15 to 20 people,
crashed Tuesday while ferrying reinforcements for counterterrorism
operations in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
The fate of those on board the helicopter, which crashed near Asadabad
in Kunar province, was not immediately known, the U.S. military said.
A statement said the cause of the crash was unclear.
Other helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were deployed to the site,
the military said. U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara had
no other details.
A U.S. military official said early reports received in Washington
indicated 15 to 20 people were on board. There was no word on their
condition, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity
because it involved initial operational reports on the incident.
Tuesday, Jun. 28
National Guard and Reserve Mobilized [United States Department of Defense]
U.S. Marine Killed in Downtown Atlanta [WSBTV]
Take a Look at U.S. Casualties in Iraq [Iraq Coalition Casualty Count]
Afghan Women Attack Troops for Taking Photographs [Kashar]
The Mission Continues: 2 Years in Iraq [United States Department of
Will Afghanistan Ever Be Completely Free of Terrorism? [Community]
Defeat Terrorism: Can It Be Done? [Community]
Provincial Gov. Asadullah Wafa told The Associated Press that the
Taliban downed the aircraft with a rocket. He gave no other details.
Purported Taliban spokesman Mullah Latif Hakimi called the AP before
news of the crash was released and claimed that the rebels shot the
Hakimi often calls news organizations to claim responsibility for
attacks on behalf of the Taliban. His information has sometimes proven
untrue or exaggerated, and his exact tie to the group's leadership is
The crash was the second of a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan this
year. On April 6, 15 U.S. service members and three American civilians
were killed when their chopper went down in a sandstorm while
returning to the main U.S. base at Bagram.
The U.S. military has launched operations in several areas along the
border with Pakistan. Those offensives target remnants of al-Qaida and
the hard-line Taliban movement, as well as foreign fighters using high
mountain passes to cross over from Pakistan.
Tuesday's crash comes after three months of unprecedented fighting
that has killed about 465 suspected insurgents, 29 U.S. troops, 43
Afghan police and soldiers, and 125 civilians.
The violence has left much of Afghanistan off-limits to aid workers
and has reinforced concerns that the war here is escalating into a
conflict on the scale of that in Iraq.
Afghan and U.S. officials have predicted that the situation will
deteriorate in the lead-up to legislative elections in September - the
next key step toward democracy after a quarter-century of war.
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