Afghan women and children killed in Turkish NATO helicopter crash
As if the Afghan people have not suffered enough horror recently, now a NATO-operated Turkish helicopter has crashed, killing 4 Afghan civilians and 12 Turkish soldiers.
reports that the helicopter came down on a house and burst into flames in the Bagrami district, close to the capital Kabul.
Apparently the helicopter was operated by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), according to a spokesman for the U.S.-led NATO force in Kabul.
Turkish General Staff have now confirmed that 12 of their military personnel were on board and “have been martyred.” Afghan police have advised that the civilians who were living in the destroyed house apparently fell prey to a catastrophic technical failure.
Interior ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi advised: “We are investigating the cause of the crash but there were no reports of insurgent activity in the area.”
Turkey's role in Afghanistan is not a military one. There are over 1,800 Turkish officers and soldiers serving in the country, but their work is limited to patrolling, mostly around Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
The Turkish military have announced that the incident is believed to have been the deadliest one during Turkey's mission in the country over the 10-year long military campaign.
Turkish public opinion has never been overly critical of the country's non-combatant involvement in Afghanistan. However, this latest event could change that.
With this crash happening at a time when tempers are running high in Afghanistan, with several scandals already in the mix, including the burning of the Korans and the recent massacre of civilians, tensions might just reach a breaking point.