According to us officials, a B-1 stealth bomber unleashed the strike which went wrong and struck the American forces. #afghanistan
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) June 10, 2014
More bodies have been tossed into the bottomless pit of misery that is the US mission in Afghanistan as reports are that a US B-1 stealth bomber accidentally dropped ordinance on a US position killing five American soldiers. The bombing is one of the deadliest incidents in Afghanistan in recent months and marks the deadliest friendly fire incident of the 14 year long war.
The US forces were returning from an operation when they were ambushed and subsequently an air strike was called in. The air strike missed the intended area and hit friendly forces.
Ghulam Sakhi Roghlewai, local police chief, said: “Isaf [International Security Assistance Force] troops were returning to their bases after an operation when they were ambushed by the insurgents. The air strike mistakenly hit their own forces and killed the soldiers.”
The incident marks the deadliest day since five British soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in Kandahar at the end of April and comes as combat forces wind down their operations.
A spokesman would not fully confirm the report but did concede the incident was under investigation and that “there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved.”
Most of the US and NATO forces are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year though the Obama Administration says it plans to leave 10,000 troops in country to conduct anti-terror operations and train Afghan forces, remaining in harm’s way.
Afghans go to the polls this weekend to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai who has refused to sign an agreement allowing the 10,000 US troops to stay. Whether or not the victor of the Afghan election will sign such an agreement is unknown.