Afghanistan: the Mounting Casualties

Once again the Taliban are stepping up their efforts for the annual summer offensive and casualties among western forces in Afghanistan are mounting.

Earlier Wednesday a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter was brought down by a rocket propelled grenade in Helmand province. Four U.S. servicemen were reported killed when the helicopter was shot down while trying to evacuate a wounded British soldier from a forward operating base.

An explosion in the same province also reportedly killed a British soldier in separate incident earlier Wednesday.

These latest U.S. casualties bring the total of Americans killed this month to 18.

While Nato forces have lost a total of 29 men in the first nine days of June.

On Monday June 7, Nato lost a total of 10 men in Afghanistan, seven of them Americans

Although the Taliban lack sophisticated missiles, they have nonetheless managed to bring down three helicopters in Helmand province in recent weeks.

With the deteriorating security situation Nato increasingly rely on helicopters for re-supply, even over relatively short distances. Presenting the Taliban with more airborne targets for their rocket propelled grenades.

Earlier Wednesday the Taliban were also reported to have torched up to 50 Nato supply trucks on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capitol, Islamabad. The trucks were part of a supply convoy on its way to Afghanistan

Over 75% of military supplies for western forces in Afghanistan and 40% of fuel needs pass through Pakistan.

Supplies of food and vehicles are usually transported by road while ammunition and weapons are ferried in by air.