Scary Video Of Helicopter Crash That Killed Top Afghan General Emerges

The Taliban originally claimed they shot the helicopter down.

byTyler Rogoway|
Afghanistan photo


Footage has appeared online showing what's described as the final moments of Afghan General Mohayedin Ghori’s life. The General died as his Mi-17 helicopter made an approach to land near Muri Chaq, in Badghis Province’s Bala Murghab district of Afghanistan. The video shows the helicopter approaching a landing zone, with armed fighters in the foreground awaiting its arrival. Then it seems as if the helicopter looses tail rotor rpm, resulting in a spin into the ground. It does not look as if the empennage of the aircraft was impacted by anything.

The incident occurred on November 29th, and shortly thereafter the Taliban, which is very active in the area, claimed that they shot down the helicopter. Clearly, that doesn’t seem to be the case based on this video, although a few frames seem to missing for an unknown reason. Some reports state that the helicopter was making an emergency landing due to a mechanical issue before the devastating crash. Seven onboard the Mi-17 were injured, with the General being the only person who died during the incident. The head of the province’s ruling council and the chief intelligence officer for the province were among those onboard.

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Ghori was the commander of the Afghan National Army’s 207th Zafar Corps based in western Afghanistan, and was one of the country’s most notable military leaders. His death marks yet another setback to Afghanistan’s struggling military, which is facing down multiple enemies within its own borders.

General Mohayedin Ghori speaks during a press conference in the western district of Farah province, AREF KARIMI/AFP/Getty Images

Oddly enough, just a day later the announcement was made that the US intends on replacing the Afghan military’s Mi-17 Hips with H-60/S-70 Black Hawks under an initiative that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The first 53 H-60s will be refurbished from existing stocks, and eventually a total of 159 Black Hawks are to be fielded under the plan. 58 of those aircraft will be equipped with hardpoints for weapons and will be able to act as aerial gunships to support ground forces.

An Afghan Air Force Mi-17 gunner checks the aircraft before a mission out of Kabul International Airport., Stocktrek Images

Spending American funds on Russian-built helicopters has long been a controversial issue—even though Afghanistan has operated Russian Mil helicopters for many decades and is deeply familiar with maintaining and operating the type. Aside from a “buy American” play, the move to give Afghanistan Black Hawks is part of a larger, and very long overdue strategy to increase the Afghan military’s air support capabilities.

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