Tag Archives: Taliban

NATO Special Operations Command: Taliban “Red Unit” Commander Killed in Air Strike. Here’s The Video.

Air Strike Hits Vehicle of Taliban Commander in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The NATO Special Operations Component Command, Afghanistan has announced that the Taliban “Red Unit” (special operations) commander in Helmand province, Mullah Shah Wali, alias “Haji Nasir”, was killed in a coalition air strike in Musa Qal’ah, Helmand on Dec. 1, 2017. One of Wali’s deputy commanders and three other insurgents were also killed in the strike.

The insurgent vehicle Wali was riding in was hit by what appears to be a single air-delivered weapon while moving at speed across open country. Although no information about the platform or weapon used in the strike was released, it is likely a precision guided weapon employed either from a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or a manned combat aircraft possibly loitering at a distance while a remote asset such as an RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) or other aircraft provided target designation and terminal guidance.

As commander of the Taliban “Red Unit”, a high-level intelligence and planning cell within the insurgent hierarchy, Mullah Shah Wali planned suicide bombings, IED attacks and special operations assaults according to a news release attributed to the Afghan Intelligence Service and quoted in “The Hill”, a Washington D.C. based news outlet. He was also “directly responsible” for coordinating operations and resupply of munitions, explosives and materials for the Taliban throughout Helmand province, where the Taliban runs opium cultivation operations to provide funding for terrorist operations. An Afghan Army special forces commander told media the terrorist “Red Unit” uses “advanced weaponry, including night vision scopes, 82mm rockets, heavy machine guns and US-made assault rifles.”

U.S. Army General John Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and commanding officer for the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan since March, 2016, told media the strike will, “disrupt the Taliban network, degrade their narcotics trafficking, and hinder their ability to conduct attacks against Afghan forces.”

While the strike on Mullah Shah Wali and the other ranking members of the so-called Taliban “Red Unit” is likely significant during the short-term in the region, the insurgent leadership has proven they can adapt to leadership losses in the past and maintain their tempo of operations. According to data compiled and reported by FDD’s Long War Journal, the Taliban currently still control “six of the [Helmand] province’s fourteen districts”.

New Video of British Killer Drones Incinerating Taliban in Afghanistan

We have seen several videos showing U.S. Reaper drones attacking Taliban in Afghanistan with rain of Hellfires.

But, since the RAF (Royal Air Force) operates just five of them, it’s much more difficult to find footage showing MQ-9 UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) do what they do better: spying on ground targets and individuals and kill them with either missiles or 500-lb LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs).

Provided the details are correct, the one below shows RAF Reaper drones carry out deadly air strikes in Afghanistan from their ground control station at RAF Waddington, in the UK. Previously, since 2007, RAF crews flew UAVs from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

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US Civilian Cargo Plane crashes after taking off from Bagram, Afghanistan

On the afternoon of Monday Apr. 29 a civilian Boeing 747 cargo plane taking off from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, crashed killing all on board.

The doomed B747-400 cargo plane was operated by National Air Cargo and thought to be the example carrying registration N949CA (unconfirmed).

The aircraft had been contracted out by the U.S. military and had arrived at the base the previous day. Eye witnesses said that the 747 had taken off normally but once it had reached an altitude of around 1,200ft the nose pitched up violently leading to a subsequent stall.

There are rumours that radio frequency monitors heard the crew report that the load had shifted just prior to the crash: the heavy cargo plane pitched up past the point at which the crew could not recover; the resulting drop in airspeed made the aircraft stall and that close to the ground there was nothing the crew could do.

National Air Cargo made a statement to Reuters by phone stating “We did lose all seven crew members,” although their nationalities have not been released.

The Taliban released a statement saying that they were responsible for the crash but ISAF (NATO’s International Security Assistance Force) said that there had not been any insurgent activity around or near the base when the incident took place, therefore it would seem the Taliban tried to use this as a bit of a publicity stunt.

The tragic event comes only few days after a U.S. MC-12 military surveillance aircraft crashed in bad weather.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Bagram crash

Image credit: Albert Ramirez via AvHerald

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U.S. Marine Corps Harrier flight ops aboard USS Bonhomme Richard. As seen through the Night Vision Goggles.

The following cool video shows AV-8B+ Harrier jump jets (as those destroyed in the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion’s airfield in Afghanistan) belonging to the Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 542, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducting carrier landing qualifications at night aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at sea.

VMA 542 is the fixed wing asset of the 31st MEU, the only continuously forward deployed MEU and U.S. Marine Corps force in readiness in the Asia Pacific region. Its Harrier jets provide close air support capabilities as well as long range reconnaissance.

VMA-211 mourns its Commander as it pushes forward to complete deployment in Afghanistan

Although it suffered the worst hit to enemy fire since WWII, enduring not only the loss of eight AV-8B+ Harrier jets in the Taliban attack on Camp Bastion’s airfiled, Marine Attack Squadron 211 remains fully operational and continues to fly in Helmand province, to provide support to ground troops in Southwest Afghanistan area of operation.

The insurgent attack that cost the life of the squadron’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, and wiped out the majority of the American jump jets operating “in theater”, has not prevented the U.S. Marine Corps unit to fly the daily close air support missions for the infantry battalions or the patrol owerwatch sorties, aimed to spot typical ambush positions.

In fact, on Sept. 26, the squadron received six new airframes, both in the VMA-211 “Avengers” and in the VMA-231 “Ace of Spades” markings, to continue the deployment.

One of the aircraft is painted in memory of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, who were killed during an attack on Camp Bastion Sept. 14, 2012.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps