Two Marines Die In Attack On Afghan Base, Prince Harry The Target?

An attack on a joint U.S.-British base in Afghanistan resulted in the death of two U.S. Marines and caused damage to several aircraft was, according to the BBC, aimed at one very specific target:

Prince Harry was at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan during an assault by the Taliban which killed two US marines.

American officials said small arms, rockets and mortars were used to attack the perimeter of the British base, home to troops from several countries.

The Taliban said it was a response to an amateur US-made film mocking Islam and later claimed the base was chosen because Harry was there.

Nato told Reuters news agency that the prince “was never in any danger”.

Prince Harry, who is marking his 28th birthday, is in Afghanistan for four months on his second tour of duty.

(…)

An International Security Assistance Force spokesman said that 18 Taliban fighters had been killed and one captured.

Describing the attack as “significant”, an MoD spokesman said it was “there has been some damage to equipment which is still being assessed” and a “clearance operation” was taking place.

He added: “After swift action by ISAF forces, including UK personnel, the incident was contained.”

In a telephone conversation with the BBC, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadion reiterated earlier comments and said the attack was planned after they found out about the film US but added that Camp Bastion was chosen as the target because Prince Harry was there.

Now, of course, we should take these claims of responsibility and explanation of motives with a grain of salt at the very least, but as I’ve mentioned before this wouldn’t be the first time that the Taliban have targeted the third in line for the British Throne while he was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and it does seem as though they put quite a lot of work and material into this assault on a heavily defended military base. It’s almost as if they had a high value target in mind.

H/T: Jazz Shaw

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, Quick Takes, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    The question is, why are American Marines dying so that the useless offspring of a waning monarchy can play soldier? For one, the location of Prince Harry should not have been known outside of those with a serious need to know. Even that he was in country should have been a closely guarded secret.

  2. I don’t know the thinking behind Harry’s decision to go, but I think that if you are going to let famous people of any stripe in, you have to let them serve as everyone else.

    In another sense:

    “Enemy targets a prince, as they have for the last 5,000 years, film at 11.”

  3. PJ says:

    @JKB:

    The question is, why are American Marines dying so that the useless offspring of a waning monarchy can play soldier? For one, the location of Prince Harry should not have been known outside of those with a serious need to know. Even that he was in country should have been a closely guarded secret.

    Are you actually blaming Harry for the death of the American Marines?

    Also, I think it’s a lot better if sons and daughters of king, queens, presidents, governors, congresscritters, etc serve than if they don’t.

  4. walt moffett says:

    Or were the attack helicopters the primary target with the prince secondary? We’ll never know.

  5. Lynda says:

    @JKB:
    IIRC much was made that Track Palin was headed off to Iraq during the run up to the 2008 elections.

    Would you have made such a sneering comment about Track if British troops had died at a base that was targeted because Sarah Palin’s son was stationed there?

  6. Andy says:

    This is simply Taliban propaganda. They have no ability to “target” Harry anymore than they can target any specific person. This is a big base, with a lot of people in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan. The Taliban are going to target that base regardless of who is there.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    The question is, why are American Marines dying so that the useless offspring of a waning monarchy can play soldier?

    This tells me all I need to know about JKB. The man is in Afghanistan, serving his country, risking his life, and you have the gall to say he is “useless”, that he is “playing soldier.”

    OK, OK James. I said I would play nice here, but JKB isn’t making it easy.

    Ps:another useless offspring of a waning monarchy piloted a helicopter rescue at sea to save the lives of 2 girls about a month ago. I doubt they think he is “useless.”

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I am such a thread kill.

    JKB? Bitch slap.