Monday, May 16, 2011
What route could the US copters have flown?
I'm not really into conspiracy theories at all -- when the raid took place, initially there were suggestions that the copters took off from Tarbela which is around 30-35 kilometres east of Abbottabad -- if they came from Afghanistan, the closest known base would be Jalalabad -- that town is slightly north of Peshawar so choppers coming from there would either have to fly over Peshawar city or north -- through Charsadda (see accompanying graphic) -- and then on to Mardan -- north of Mardan the population density is relatively lower, but the Mardan-Mingora road is situated here -- travelling eastward on this, one would pass north of Swabi and past Tarbela (the country's largest hydel facility) and eastward on to Abbottabad -- the other option to fly slightly on a northern flight path meant that the helicopters flew over less populated Lower Dir (it borders Afghanistan), eastward past southern Swat and Buner and past Allai in Batagram district north of Tarbela (this could be the Oghi area north of Tarbela, home to the Black Hills, or Kala Dhaka) and southeast to Abbottabad --
This latter route could have been taken because it passes through generally less populated and remote areas -- definitely lower Dir, Buner, and northern Mansehra and and western Battagram are all mountainous - also it has been reported that two copters stopped in the Kala Dhaka area, which is northwest of Abbottabad -- if the copters were flying at 30-35 metres (according to the deputy air chief who briefed parliament) how come they didnt crash into the mountainside -- and this was at night -- of course they can fly at night but the risks are significant --
Abbottabad as the crow flies west is around 180-200 kilometres from the Afghan border -- i remember reading 110 kms in some news reports -- i wonder where that figure was derived from