Scorching the Taliban with White Phosphorous

A war photo a day #31

Scorching the Taliban with White Phosphorous Scorching the Taliban with White Phosphorous

Uncategorized September 11, 2013 0

David Axe photo Scorching the Taliban with White Phosphorous A war photo a day #31 Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than... Scorching the Taliban with White Phosphorous
David Axe photo

Scorching the Taliban with White Phosphorous

A war photo a day #31

Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than I care to recount. I’ve been covering armed conflict since 2005. Every battlefield has its stories … and its unforgettable images. Follow me through my career at war, one jarring, haunting or sublime photo a day until I run out.

In early 2010 I returned to Afghanistan for my third visit with U.S. and allied troops in that ravaged country. With the U.S. Army’s Task Force Rock, I rode into the Chowkay Valley in the rugged eastern province of Kunar. The Chowkay was past the red line drawn on Army maps to designate the border between U.S.- and Taliban-controlled areas.

We were there to meet local elders. But the elders refused to come out, rightly deciding it was too dangerous. The Army intercepted radio transmissions indicating the Taliban were closing in on the mountaintops on three sides. As we crouched among the rocks, a pair of Kiowa attack helicopters—one of which is pictured above—blasted the Taliban positions with incendiary white phosphorous.

Under the cover of the smoke and flames we sprinted back to the vehicles and sped out of the valley.