ISAF Strikes Taliban Linked to Downing Special Forces

The following is an ISAF Joint Command News Release:

KABUL, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed the Taliban insurgents involved with the recent downing of the CH-47 helicopter, with a precision airstrike in Chak District, Wardak province, Aug 9.

The strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the shot associated with the Aug. 6 downing of the CH-47 helicopter, which resulted in the deaths of 38 Afghan and coalition service members.

Mullah Mohibullah was a key facilitator in an insurgent attack cell led by Din Mohammad, a Taliban leader killed in a previous special operations mission. As a leader in Mohammad’s network in Tangi Valley, Mohibullah had as many as 12 Taliban fighters under his command, including potential suicide bombers.

On the night of the crash, the inbound CH-47 carried special operations forces intended to pursue insurgents from Mohammad’s network that were fleeing an engagement in which six militants had already been killed. While it has not been determined if enemy fire was the sole reason for the helicopter crash, it did take fire from several insurgent locations on its approach.

After an exhaustive manhunt, special operations forces located Mullah Mohibullah and the shooter after receiving multiple intelligence leads and tips from local citizens. The two men were attempting to flee the country in order to avoid capture.

The security force located and followed the insurgents to a wooded area in Chak District. After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the force called for the airstrike which resulted in the deaths of the Mullah Mohibullah, the shooter, and several of their Taliban associates.

The security force assesses no civilians were harmed during the strike.

The International Security Assistance Force website.

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Children of Fallen Special Forces Offered Free College

The remains of the 30 Special Operations forces killed this weekend in Afghanistan came home to the U.S. Tuesday.  Their families, fellow service members and President Barack Obama were at Dover Air Force Base to pay tribute to the fallen.

In the next few months, the Tampa based Special Operations Warrior Foundation will also offer its help – a free college education for the children of those killed.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 by fellow warriors who wanted to make sure the children of special forces killed in training or action could go to college.

Melinda Petrignani was 8 months old when her father, an Army Ranger, was killed. The Warrior Foundation helped her graduate from DePaul University in 2008. Petrignani said they provided more than financial assistance.

“We’re an extended family to all these children,” said Petrignani who started working for the organization about a year ago. “I’m there as a mentor to them, as a friend, as someone they can talk to when they might not be able to talk to their parents.”

So far, nearly 200 children have graduated, about 140 are in college and there are commitments by the Special Forces Warriors Foundation to 600 more children who are not yet college age.

And that same offer will be made to the children of those just lost. You can learn more about the four-star rated charity SpecialOps.org.

You can listen to Melinda tell her story and talk about her work at the foundation  HERE – Melinda talks with WUSF 89.7FM .

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