Wardak province isn’t a friendly one for foreign troops: the locals loathe the foreign presence and credit the the brutal drone attacks that often kill civilians for the Taliban’s popularity. This past Saturday in the province, the Taliban shot down a helicopter and killed 30 US troops, a translator, and seven Afghan troops on their way to reinforce other troops under fire in a nearby position.
Now the Taliban is claiming a new weapon against the occupying forces’ helicopters, which if true, says a security expert, “would be a game changer.”
Chinooks are said to be “vital and vulnerable” — their troop-ferrying capacity is large, but they are slow, easy targets when they are taking off or landing. Like the Soviet occupation in the 80s, the American one, also based on air power, could be crippled if insurgents find a silver bullet.
And civilian populations seem to support the insurgency; America’s drone-bombing campaign kills many civilians and sows hatred, McClatchy reports.
“The Americans are committing barbaric acts in the area and this is the reason that the Taliban have influence,” a local doctor said.
Nearly 150 NATO troops have been killed in helicopter crashes and shootdowns since the 2001 invasion, some 100 of whom have been American.