Helicopter Rumour Refuses to Die
Many Afghans believe foreign forces providing support for insurgents in the north.
“Just when the police and army managed to surround the Taleban in a village of Qala-e-Zaal district, we saw helicopters land with support teams,” he said. “They managed to rescue their friends from our encirclement, and even to inflict defeat on the Afghan National Army.”
This story, in one form or another, is being repeated throughout northern Afghanistan. Dozens of people claim to have seen Taleban fighters disembark from foreign helicopters in several provinces. The local talk is of the insurgency being consciously moved north, with international troops ferrying fighters in from the volatile south, to create mayhem in a new location.
Helicopters are almost exclusively the domain of foreign forces in Afghanistan – the international military controls the air space, and has a virtual monopoly on aircraft. So when Afghans see choppers, they think foreign military.