The story of the crash of a U.S. special forces aircraft overgrows with incredible details.
On January 27, the Taliban made a sensational statement. They reported that they shot down a U.S. Special Forces E-11A plane in the Sado-Khelu district of Deh Yak district of Afghanistan, performing a reconnaissance flight over Ghazni province. According to one version, all CIA officers on board, including the head of special operations in the Middle East, Michael D’Andrea, died, according to another – two are in serious condition.
So that there was no doubt, the militants attached video and pictures of the wreckage of the aircraft. Judging by the photographs, the rear of the fuselage survived, although it was burnt. Obviously, the pilots tried to land the falling plane on the side of the mountain. There are theoretically chances that someone survived. Perhaps the Taliban are misleading Americans to have trump cards in the information war. However, according to later reports, the Afghans claim that no one was saved.
At first, the Pentagon denied the news from Afghanistan, and then General David Goldfein, chief of staff of the US Air Force, nevertheless admitted: “It seems that we lost the plane. But we do not know the status of the crew. ”
It is clear that the command was dark, since the information in the star-striped army is at the highest level. The Ministry of Defense boasted more than once that they knew about every sneeze, and then a whole team of officers broke up. All this allowed a number of foreign media to suggest that important birds were hit.
Reuters reported that the Americans, having arrived at the crash site, recovered heavily charred people from the wreckage. They have not yet been identified, and the death toll is not said. The Taliban counted 7 bodies.
Director of the Afghan Air Traffic Administration Gulam Masum Massumi voiced some information. In particular, he said that the crashed plane did not belong to transporters or bombers, but was a special board for military operations. By the way, judging by the information from the Space Encyclopedia, a person with that name was a candidate for a failed joint Soviet-Afghan space flight, before that he had graduated from the military school of pilots in the Soviet Union, and after the Taliban was expelled from Kabul, he served as commander of the Air Force and Air Defense of Afghanistan. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that the crashed board was indeed intended for special operations.
It is also known that the BD-700 Global Express aircraft received the E-11A index in 2009, when a new airborne communications center and BACN repeater was installed on board, designed to collect intelligence and transmit operational tactical commands, including UAV strike control. The same equipment is also used on the RQ-4B Block 20 drone. The maximum range of streaming communication with a transmission speed of 274 Mbit / s reaches 280 km. It is these characteristics that provide accurate guidance of missiles, as was the case during the attack on the legendary Iranian General Soleimani, who led the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
According to the U.S. Air Force, E-11A aircraft with tail numbers 11–9001, 11–9355, 11–9358 and 12–9506 are listed as part of the 451st tactical air communications center based in Kandahar.
It was impossible to say whether the E-11A, shot down by the militants, was the same aircraft that aimed missiles at the killed head of the IRGC, but the well-informed Israeli portal Jerusalem Post highlighted the incident with the death of the aircraft ambivalently. Like, it is unlikely that CIA officers were killed, but everything can be.
The publication notifies its readers that the death of a senior CIA officer Michael D’Andrea, who was on a fallen board, was allegedly first reported by Russian GRU intelligence officers. And after them, they were already picked up by the Iranian media.
But in Jerusalem, in this regard, they suggest that we are talking about the well-known ploy of Tehran newspapers to refer to Russian sources as the most reliable in the world.
– The name of Michael began to appear in the media in Farsi after the assassination of Soleimani, when articles in Mehr News and Radio Farda claimed that he was the one who directed the operation,” writes the Jerusalem Post. Nevertheless, one should not rush to conclusions, since Tehran needs to report to its people about retaliation. Thus, the destruction of the killer of the hero of Persia closes the black page in Iranian-American relations. So, you can no longer attack US bases in Iraq and not anger Washington.
The Jerusalem Post has logic, but it is also known that the IRGC has the largest network of its own in Afghanistan.
In other words, the Persians certainly know more about the fallen E-11A than anyone else. Perhaps they have information about the death of the American super agent, but there are doubts as well. So they brought to light their “source in the GRU.”
By the way, in their video about the downed plane, the militants talked about charred documents that fell into their hands.
As for the person, D’Andrea, in 2017, he was appointed head of the CIA’s special operations in Iran, “to signal Tehran about the beginning of a tougher stance by the Trump administration.” This happened on the eve of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA), better known as the Iranian nuclear deal. Such information was circulated by the New York Times, which was subsequently criticized for disclosing information about a secret agent.
However, earlier the American media reported this CIA officer, giving him the loud nicknames “Prince of Darkness” or “Ayatollah Michael.” At overseas forums of special services veterans they write that D’Andrea has earned the fame of a talented (!) liquidator. In particular, it was he who was assigned the assassination of Imad Mugnia, the former chief of staff of Hezbollah, back in 2008. He also “hunted” for Osama bin Laden and even drove the “enemy of America” into a corner. All this gave reason to believe that D’Andrea is (or was) the most prominent figure in the US CIA in the Middle East.
Noteworthy is the fact that in Iran they literally celebrate the downed plane and the death of the “Prince of Darkness.” If Ayatollah Michael were alive, he would have been shown on American TV.
There are no reactions from US official authorities yet. Colonel Sonny Legget, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, although confirmed that the plane crashed belonged to the US Army, but said that the cause of the crash is still unknown, signs that the catastrophe was caused by a Taliban missile attack.
We also note that in 2019, the US Air Force bombed Afghanistan especially often and brutally, even more than 2 years ago, when, on Trump’s order, the “largest non-nuclear munition” – the “mother of all bombs” was dropped. In turn, the Taliban recorded a number of downed American planes and UAVs. If against this background it turns out that CIA officers, led by D’Andrea, have died, Iran will be able to rest. At least because Soleimani is really avenged.