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Meanwhile In Afghanistan


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#321 BansheeOne

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 1341 PM

Afghan plane crash: US jet comes down in Taliban territory

27 January 2020

The US military has confirmed one of its planes crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday.

Officials told the media there were no indications it had been brought down by enemy activity.

The aircraft crashed in Deh Yak district, Ghazni province, an area with a strong Taliban presence.

Afghan authorities initially said it belonged to state-owned airline Ariana, but the company issued a denial, saying all its planes were accounted for.

The Pentagon has not released further details and it is unclear how many people were on board.

Taliban social media accounts have posted unverified footage showing a burnt-out plane with US Air Force markings.

The video shows a Bombardier E-11A - the type of jet used by the US Air Force for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan.

[...]


https://www.bbc.com/...d-asia-51264744
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#322 bojan

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 1538 PM

We will see in few days how situation develops, was it an accident or a shutdown.


Edited by bojan, 27 January 2020 - 1540 PM.

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#323 glenn239

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 1551 PM

Let's hope accident, because if it was a shootdown, then somebody may have recently started to upgrade Taliban AA missile capability unless the plane was flying low enough for AAA.  And not too hard to come up with a short list for who might have supplied the Taliban with better AA missiles recently.


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#324 BansheeOne

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 1354 PM

Official: Remains of 2 US troops recovered from Afghan site

Lolita Baldor and Robert Burns, The Associated Press


3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) A U.S. defense official says the United States has recovered the remains of two American service members killed in the crash of an Air Force plane in Afghanistan.

They were the only two people aboard the Air Force E-11A electronic surveillance aircraft when it went down on Monday in Ghazni province, the official said, speaking Tuesday on the condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement of the recovery. The identities of the two have not been publicly announced, pending notification of their relatives.

The official said the American recovery team met no Taliban resistance in reaching the crash site and said there is no indication that the plane was downed by hostile action.

The Taliban hold much of Ghazni province. Monday's plane crash there is not expected to derail U.S.-Taliban peace talks if the crash investigation determines, as expected, that it was not the result of hostile action.


https://www.airforce...es.com/#jwvideo

Edited by BansheeOne, 28 January 2020 - 1356 PM.

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#325 Burncycle360

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 1630 PM

Attack on US and Afghan troops in Afghanistan,  initial posts suggest 5-6 US fatalities, details still pending.  Newer article doesn't mention number

https://twitter.com/...208104863457281

https://apnews.com/e..._source=Twitter

 

 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — American and Afghan military personnel were fired on while conducting an operation in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, the U.S. military said Saturday.
 

Several U.S. personnel were either injured or killed, but the exact number and other details were not provided, said a U.S. official who agreed to discuss the incident only on condition of anonymity.
 

A U.S. military spokesman, Col. Sonny Leggett, said in a statement that both Afghan and U.S. personnel were “engaged by direct firing.”
 

“We are assessing the situation,” Leggett said, without providing any information on possible casualties or other details.


The Taliban and the Islamic State group affiliate both operate in eastern Nangarhar province. The incident comes as Washington seeks to find an end to Afghanistan’s 18-year war, America’s longest.

Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been meeting with Taliban representatives in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar in recent weeks. He’s seeking an agreement to reduce hostilities to get a peace deal signed that would start negotiations among Afghans on both sides of the conflict.
 

In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump referenced the peace talks, saying U.S. soldiers were not meant to serve as “law enforcement agencies” for other nations.

“In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our war fighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are now underway, ” he said.


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#326 BansheeOne

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 0716 AM

February 29, 2020 / 6:36 AM / Updated 20 minutes ago

 

U.S.-Taliban set to sign troop withdrawal deal as Pompeo lands in Doha
 
 
KABUL/DOHA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Qatar’s capital city, Doha on Saturday to witness the signing of a historic deal with Taliban insurgents in an effort to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
 

Pompeo arrived on a flight from Washington and was due to hold a meeting with the Qatari Emir before attending the signing ceremony.

 

The deal paves the way for the United States to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. But there are doubts over whether it will lead to a lasting peace as it merely paves the way for talks between the Afghan sides that many expect could be much more complicated.

 

Hours before the deal, the Taliban ordered all its fighters in Afghanistan “to refrain from any kind of attack ... for the happiness of the nation.”

 

“The biggest thing is that we hope the U.S. remain committed to their promises during the negotiation and peace deal,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the hardline Islamist group.

 

Mujahid said it was “irritating and provocative” that foreign military aircraft continued to fly over Taliban territory, but militia fighters were following the order to stand-down.

 

[...]

 

For U.S President Donald Trump, the deal represents a chance to make good on his promise to bring U.S. troops home. But security experts have also called it a foreign policy gamble that would give the Taliban international legitimacy.

 

“Today is a monumental day for Afghanistan,” the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said on Twitter. “It is about making peace and crafting a common brighter future. We stand with Afghanistan.”

 

A 31-member Taliban delegation was in Qatar to oversee the signing by their political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

 

Foreign ministers and bureaucrats from Pakistan, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan arrived at the venue ahead of the signing ceremony, slated to take place at the Sheraton hotel in Doha.

 

Trump said in a statement on Friday said the deal will pave way for U.S. troop numbers to drop to 8,600 from about 13,000 in the weeks following the deal.

 

Further reductions of Western forces will hinge on the Taliban adhering to a “reduction in violence” pledge, a condition that will be assessed by the United States.

 

[...]

 

But prospects for peace remain uncertain given the next step is reaching agreement with the Afghan government.

 

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Kabul on Saturday, in a move officials and experts said was aimed at reassuring the Afghan government about the United States’ commitment to the country.

 

Under the deal, the Taliban wants 5,000 fighters to be released from Afghan-run jails, but it is not clear whether the Afghan government will agree.

 

https://www.reuters....l-idUSKBN20N06R


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#327 BansheeOne

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 0511 AM

February 29, 2020 / 8:16 PM / Updated 12 hours ago

 
Trump hails Afghanistan deal, plans to meet Taliban leaders soon
 
 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he would be personally meeting leaders of the Taliban in the near future and rejected criticism of a deal that the United States signed with the insurgents in Afghanistan.
 

He spoke hours after U.S. and Taliban representatives signed a deal that could pave the way toward a full withdrawal of foreign soldiers and move closer to ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

 

Trump said in a news conference at the White House that the agreement should allow the United States to draw down its troops in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 8,600. He held out the possibility of withdrawals beyond that number, but said the United States could quickly move forces back into the country if needed.

 

In later remarks at a conservative political conference in suburban Maryland, Trump said if the Taliban lives up to its commitments the war will “be over.”

 

“We can’t be the policeman for the world,” he said.

 

Trump has frequently expressed a desire to put a halt to “endless wars” and has said he has been personally struck by meeting wounded soldiers who are missing limbs on his visits to Walter Reed Medical Center.

 

The president came under sharp criticism for the deal from his former national security adviser, John Bolton, who said in a tweet that “signing this agreement with Taliban is an unacceptable risk to America’s civilian population.”

 

“This is an Obama-style deal. Legitimizing Taliban sends the wrong signal to ISIS and al Qaeda terrorists, and to America’s enemies generally,” he said, referring to former President Barack Obama, Trump’s Democratic predecessor.

 

[...]

 

https://www.reuters....n-idUSKBN20N0YU

 

Date 01.03.2020

 

'No commitment' to Taliban prisoner exchange: Afghan government

 

A day after the US and the Taliban signed a deal to end the Afghan conflict, Afghanistan's President Ghani has said he will not uphold one of the pact's key agreements — the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

 

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday the government has not committed to freeing 5,000 Taliban prisoners, a key demand for the insurgent group. Efforts to push a prisoner exchange were part of a historic pact signed between the US and the Taliban  on Saturday.

 

The Afghan government was not involved in the signing of the deal, but did have a delegation witness the event in Doha. Ghani's comments, at a news briefing in Kabul, included that his government made "no commitment" to upholding the prisoner release.

 

"This is the right and the self-will of the people of Afghanistan. It could be included in the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks, but cannot be a prerequisite for talks," he said.

 

The prisoner release was "not in the authority of the US, it is in the authority of the Afghan government," he said.

 

The pact sealed Saturday specified that up to 5,000 jailed Taliban will be released in exchange for up to 1,000 Afghan government captives by March 10.

 

'Cease-fire goal'

 

Ghani confirmed that a seven-day partial reduction in violence in Afghanistan will continue with the aim of a full cease-fire.

 

"The reduction in violence will continue with a goal to reach a full cease-fire," Ghani told reporters.

 

"General [Scott] Miller has told Taliban to do so," he added, referring to the US commander in charge of foreign forces in Afghanistan.

 

The president, who is caught up in a political crisis following fraud allegations in his re-election, cast doubt upon upcoming talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government that were agreed to as part of the deal.

 

The Taliban dub the Afghan government a "US puppet" and have been reluctant to establish direct contact with them.

 

[...]

 

https://www.dw.com/e...ment/a-52594411


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#328 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 0658 AM

I've just watched the following video showing a unit of Marine Force Recon conducting over watch and surveillance missions in Afghanistan.  The comments concerning "you've been to Iraq, you'll know what to do in Afghanistan" are most intriguing. 

 

Anyway there's a particular weapon showing on the video at 2:43; looks like it has some kind of thermal sight installed, possibly a DMR or standard calibre sniper rifle?  It resembles a Barrett MRAD but there are also a number of features which look different on the rifle in the video.  I know they customise their firearms in various ways.  Can anyone ID the rifle?

 

https://youtu.be/73xihNaDoAI 

 

My back feels sore just hearing a list of all the stuff they have to carry with them... :blink:


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#329 beans4

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 1036 AM

Just waiting for somebody to use the phrase "peace with honor".


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