US forces in Afghanistan confirmed the crash of the Bombardier E-11A with noticeable delay on Monday.
They said an investigation was underway to determine what caused the crash, adding there were no indications that the spy plane had been downed by enemy fire in the area, which is largely controlled by the Taliban, Presstv Reported.
The Taliban however claimed that they had shot down the US military plane, adding that everyone on board, including top CIA officers, had been killed.
There is no information available about the number of people on board the US surveillance aircraft.
US media broke their partial news blackout on the incident, with some reporting the crash late on Monday.
The aircraft has been identified as Bombardier E-11A belonging to the US Air Force.
The E-11A is the military variant of the civil Bombardier BD-700 Global Express for use as overhead communications-relay platform in Southwest Asia.
The E-11A is used to link troops in the field to headquarters and has been previously described by Air Force pilots as “WiFi in the sky.”
Meanwhile, Veterans Today website, has quoted Russian intelligence sources as saying that Michael D’ Andrea, head of US intelligence operations against Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, and in charge of the CIA assassination programs in the Middle East, was also on that plane.
D'Andrea is said to have led the US drone operation that assassinated top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
On January 3, General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps was assassinated in a US drone strike in Baghdad. The attack also claimed the lives of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and a group of companions. The operation was ordered and authorized by President Donald Trump.
Less than a week later, the IRGC pounded two US military bases in Iraq with ballistic missiles.