Obama discusses helicopter crash with commanders

AP News
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Posted: Aug 07, 2011 9:18 PM
Obama discusses helicopter crash with commanders

President Barack Obama spent part of Sunday talking to top American commanders about the U.S. troops lost when a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

He also spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to the Afghan embassy in Washington.

The White House said Obama placed calls to the commanders on Sunday to express his condolences for those who died. In the calls, the president reaffirmed the support of the American people for service members and their families.

Obama called the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, and the commander of Joint Special Operations Command, Army Lt. Gen. Joe Votel. He also spoke with the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, Navy Adm. Eric Olson, and the head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. James Mattis.

The Afghan Embassy said Karzai "expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences" to Obama and the families of those killed in the crash.

The embassy said Obama thanked Karzai and said their sacrifice "will never be forgotten" as long as the U.S. and Afghanistan continue to stand together against terrorists.

Thirty Americans and eight Afghans died in the crash Saturday.