When Talal Abdulqadir woke up on March 5, he probably didn’t expect his farm in northern Iraq would end up crawling with American troops guarding a crashed aircraft. In an instant, the green field outside the town of Kawrgosk put on full display some of the more shadowy elements of Washington’s fight against Islamic State.
The apparent spy plane crashed after reportedly suffering a mechanic failure. Heavily-armed U.S. commandos rushed to the scene in helicopters to rescue the four-man crew and secure the area. No one was injured the accident.
Both the U.S. Army and the Air Force operate fleets of seemingly innocuous cargo haulers and small flying spies that transport Special Operations Forces and scan for insurgents and terrorists, respectively. Lacking traditional camouflage paint jobs, the planes are less likely than traditional warplanes to draw unwanted attention as they fly in and out of public airports and small landing strips for sensitive missions around the world.
Read the Remainder at War is Boring