Assault On Shah-i-Kot

A mission to rout pockets of al-Qaeda from the mountains of Shah-i-Kot turned into the bloodiest battle of the war. With four times as many al-Qaeda as the U.S. expected, the week saw fierce combat, d


An array of U.S. aircraft filled the skies near Gardez, from high-flying B-52 bombers to low-circling Predator drones. F-15E Strike Eagles bombed ground targets, and AC-130 gunships provided close air support. But it was the AH-64 Apache and the AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters that were most lethal, firing missiles and heavy machine guns to take out caves and enemy forces


At altitudes above 8,000 ft. (2,440 m), troops fought on rocky, snow-patched mountain terrain and faced subfreezing temperatures at night. Enemy fighters were entrenched, zealous and far more numerous than the U.S. had estimated,...

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