More than two dozen American troops are believed to have died in a deadly Chinook helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan overnight, a U.S. military official told CNN on Saturday.
Among those killed were a mix of special forces from different services, the official said. If the numbers are confirmed, the incident would be the most deadly for coalition forces in the Afghan war, according to a CNN count of international troop deaths.FULL STORY
The NATO alliance in Afghanistan anticipates insurgents will attempt to launch an extensive new round of attacks against U.S. and coalition forces as well as Afghan civilians "in the coming days," according to an International Security Assistance Force military official.
The assessment comes as the Pentagon issued its latest semi-annual report to Congress on Afghanistan, which concludes that gains are significant enough to allow for the beginning of transferring security to the Afghans in parts of the country.
Coalition troops in Afghanistan have been issued revised guidelines for conducting night raids, an official from NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Friday.
The raids are considered effective tools to rout insurgents, but they have angered Afghan civilians and government officials.
The new directive is meant to underscore the need to coordinate raids with the Afghan government and inform civilians about the reasons for the operation, the ISAF official said.
Sixty troops from the 101st Airborne suddenly found themselves surrounded by Taliban in the middle of the night at Combat Outpost Marga, a dusty patch of dirt in the heartland of the insurgency in eastern Afghanistan. With Taliban rockets, mortars and grenades slamming into the base, the men used every weapon they had. At the same time, six of the soldiers were at a lone observation post on top of a steep mountain just outside the gate. Thirty more Taliban crept up the mountain and overran them. The soldiers survived by shooting, running and tumbling down the mountain as they ran out of ammo. The deeply shaken soldiers give their first hand account of this extraordinary tale of war and survival ... and walk the ground with CNN's Barbara Starr just a couple of days after the fight.
Some U.S.-funded development organizations,
fearing a worst-case scenario as a result of the Afghan government's ban on private security guards, are beginning to implement contingency plans that could result in those organizations' pulling out of the country, U.S. officials
The Afghan government decree set a December 17 deadline for unregistered companies to shut down.
The grease-covered orange overalls can't hide 14-year-old Nazer Ahmad's frail frame. As he leans under the hood of a wrecked car, torn plastic sandals on his feet, I know I cannot possibly understand the life this young boy is forced to lead in war-torn Afghanistan -
where jobs are few, pay is appalling, and young children must work rather than
go to school and play with their friends.
Pakistan has banned NATO supply convoys from entering Afghanistan after fighting between NATO troops and militants led to the killing of three Pakistani soldiers, according to a military official from the NATO-led command in Afghanistan.
The troops were killed when three NATO helicopters crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistani airspace early Thursday and attacked a military outpost, Pakistani security officials said. Three troops were wounded as well, the officials said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - When the latest apparent U.S. drone strike was conducted this week against militants in Pakistan, the obvious question appeared to be: Did the United States get a "big fish" in the Taliban or al Qaeda organizations?
But a U.S. counterterrorism official says that's now the wrong question to ask, and chances are those hit were not major players. He wouldn't discuss the specifics of the latest strike, but with the official backing of his bosses, he sought to explain how U.S. strategy has changed in the crucial effort to attack targets inside Pakistan with missiles fired from drones. FULL POST
Some U.S. troops critically wounded or taken ill in Afghanistan are being shipped for treatment to Iraq instead of Germany, due to the European air traffic turmoil caused by the spread of volcanic ash.
The troops cannot be transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where the airspace has been closed.
The first troops arrived in Iraq three days ago and there were about 20 of them there, according to Master Sgt. Stefan Alford, spokesman for the 332
Air Expeditionary Wing in Iraq.
The U.S. military hospital at Balad, Iraq, has been designated the new hub for all aeromedical evacuations because of the disruptions in air traffic
caused by the volcano eruption in Iceland.
Balad can provide urgent or higher levels of medical care for the troops before they are sent to the United States, the U.S. Air Force said.
Wounded troops taken from Afghanistan to Iraq will be treated swiftly and then moved on to the United States.
The Air Force and Pentagon did not announce the shift to Iraq. But the website for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing says Balad is now ready for a
"sudden high-paced operations tempo," and expects to receive more U.S. wounded troops.
"We anticipate receiving more and more battle injuries from Bagram," said Capt. Ethan Moses, an Air Force flight surgeon at Balad. He was referring to
Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.