Afghanistan — British Forces Launch Helmand Province Operation

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2010 — British forces launched an oper­a­tion to fur­ther squeeze insur­gents in the cen­tral part of Afghanistan’s Hel­mand province July 31, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand offi­cials also released details about sev­er­al oth­er recent operations. 

Oper­a­tion Tor Sheza­da — Black Prince — was planned and is being exe­cut­ed by ISAF forces work­ing with their Afghan coun­ter­parts. British troops will part­ner with Afghan forces to clear insur­gents from Sayede­bad to the south of Nad‑e Ali in Hel­mand province, in oper­a­tions sim­i­lar to those con­duct­ed by U.S. Marine Corps in north­ern Mar­ja ear­li­er this year. The oper­a­tion is ongo­ing, British army Lt. Col. James Carr-Smith, Task Force Hel­mand spokesman, said, adding that com­man­ders on the ground say it is pro­gress­ing accord­ing to plan. Although sig­nif­i­cant­ly small­er than pre­vi­ous oper­a­tions in the area, Oper­a­tion Tor Sheza­da will push insur­gent fight­ers fur­ther from the pop­u­la­tion areas suc­cess­ful­ly cleared by pre­vi­ous ele­ments of Oper­a­tion Moshtarak, offi­cials said. It fol­lows the same pat­tern of “shape, clear, hold, build” that has char­ac­ter­ized the wider oper­a­tion, and shap­ing oper­a­tions have been car­ried out in prepa­ra­tion for it, offi­cials added. 

As soon as con­di­tions allow, ISAF offi­cials said, the Afghan gov­ern­ment will begin sta­bi­liza­tion activ­i­ties, includ­ing refur­bish­ment of Sayedeba’s school and health clin­ic. The British-run provin­cial recon­struc­tion team in Hel­mand will sup­port this activ­i­ty with projects of its own, includ­ing “cash for work” pro­grams that employ local peo­ple to devel­op their own communities. 

In oth­er Afghanistan oper­a­tions last night and today: 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force con­tin­ued to tar­get Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work insur­gents oper­at­ing in the Khost-Gardez Pass last night, this time focus­ing on a senior Haqqani com­man­der who report­ed­ly received about 120 road­side bombs for planned attacks dur­ing Afghanistan’s upcom­ing elec­tions. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound west of the vil­lage of Alu Kheyl to search for the com­man­der. Afghan forces, act­ing on intel­li­gence reports, quick­ly entered the com­pounds while coali­tion forces kept the area secured. After ques­tion­ing on the scene, the secu­ri­ty force detained the com­man­der and oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents. Afghan and coali­tion forces did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed the women and chil­dren through­out the search. 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force killed sev­er­al insur­gents and detained two oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Kunar province while in pur­suit of a top Tal­iban com­man­der with ties to senior al-Qai­da lead­ers in both Afghanistan and Pak­istan. The com­man­der is noto­ri­ous for his mul­ti­ple attacks against Afghan civil­ians, Afghan and coali­tion forces in Kunar province. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds in the province’s Marawarah dis­trict to search for the com­man­der. At two of the com­pounds, sev­er­al men showed hos­tile intent toward the secu­ri­ty force, and the secu­ri­ty force killed them. Fol­low-on ques­tion­ing of the res­i­dents on the scene result­ed in the deten­tion of two sus­pect­ed insur­gents. The com­pounds weren’t dam­aged, and the secu­ri­ty force pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al Tal­iban insur­gents in Kan­da­har province, includ­ing a Tal­iban com­man­der involved in bomb­ing attacks against Afghan civil­ians, Afghan and coali­tion forces. The com­man­der also was involved in the facil­i­ta­tion of weapons, muni­tions and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als, offi­cials said. The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds in Kandahar’s Arghandab dis­trict after intel­li­gence indi­cat­ed the Tal­iban insur­gents had forced their way into one of the com­pounds. After ques­tion­ing all of the res­i­dents, the secu­ri­ty force iden­ti­fied and detained the com­man­der and his asso­ciates. The secu­ri­ty force dis­cov­ered mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic weapons with mag­a­zines and chest racks at the scene. Afghan and coali­tion forces did not fire their weapons, and they pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out the search. 

— An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Hel­mand province while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban mil­i­tary com­man­der who also is believed to be a deputy com­man­der of the Lashkar Gah dis­trict who com­mands more than 100 fight­ers. Afghan and coali­tion forces did not fire their weapons, and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search. 

— Afghan sol­diers, with sup­port from their coali­tion part­ners, exe­cut­ed ground attacks on the towns of Bachan­cha and Bad­muk today, clear­ing them of Tal­iban fight­ers and dis­rupt­ing insur­gent oper­a­tions through­out the region. Ini­tial reports indi­cate more than 30 insur­gents were killed, and two Afghan sol­diers were killed in action. The Afghan and coali­tion forces took delib­er­ate steps to avoid hurt­ing inno­cent civil­ians dur­ing the oper­a­tion, offi­cials said. The attacks are part of ongo­ing secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions that began July 25 with an Afghan army com­man­do air assault on the vil­lage of Barg‑e Matal. 

In oth­er recent oper­a­tions, Afghan forces work­ing with ISAF part­ners con­duct­ed an oper­a­tion yes­ter­day to recov­er a weapons cache in Ghazni province’s Jaghatu dis­trict. The com­bined force locat­ed about 45 recoil­less rifle rounds and an 82 mm mor­tar round. 

On July 31, Afghan sol­diers part­nered with U.S. spe­cial oper­a­tions forces uncov­ered mul­ti­ple weapons caches in east­ern Zab­ul province. 

The Afghan-led force went to sev­er­al areas in the province’s Now Bahar dis­trict after intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion indi­cat­ed insur­gent activ­i­ty and found three weapons caches, the largest of which was found in the dis­trict mosque. Dur­ing the search, the com­bined force encoun­tered spo­radic small-arms and machine-gun fire from insur­gents. An ene­my was killed when the com­bined force returned fire. 

The first cache dis­cov­ered con­sist­ed of bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als and weapons buried in mul­ti­ple loca­tions through­out a com­pound. After­ward, on-scene ques­tion­ing of a build­ing own­er result­ed in Afghan police detain­ing and ques­tion­ing a sus­pect­ed Tal­iban leader. 

As the search con­tin­ued through a series of com­pounds, the part­nered force found a sec­ond cache buried in a walled area con­sist­ing of bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als, weapons and load-bear­ing equipment. 

About two hours after the ini­tial clear­ing oper­a­tions began, the largest cache of the day was dis­cov­ered in the vil­lage mosque by Afghan forces who con­duct­ed the search. Coali­tion forces pro­vid­ed secu­ri­ty out­side the mosque while their Afghan coun­ter­parts searched inside. 

The cache found in the mosque con­sist­ed of a rock­et-pro­pelled grenade, 100 rounds of machine-gun ammu­ni­tion, 12 load-bear­ing mil­i­tary chest har­ness­es, about 40 pounds of home­made-explo­sive mate­ri­als, 3,000 feet of det­o­na­tion cord, two tac­ti­cal vests, and var­i­ous med­ical sup­plies and tac­ti­cal cloth­ing, includ­ing cold-weath­er gear and two tac­ti­cal packs. 

An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force killed sev­er­al insur­gents and cap­tured a Haqqani Net­work com­man­der in Pak­tia province yes­ter­day. The com­man­der was in charge of two insur­gent cells that reg­u­lar­ly car­ried out ambush­es and mor­tar attacks against Afghan and coali­tion forces. 

The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a vehi­cle in the province’s Zor­mat dis­trict after they observed the com­man­der putting an anti-air­craft machine gun in the vehi­cle. After ensur­ing no civil­ians were present, an air weapons team per­formed a pre­ci­sion strike on the vehicle. 

A fol­low-on ground force inspect­ed the area and found sev­er­al insur­gents were killed in the pre­ci­sion strike. The vehi­cle con­tained mul­ti­ple auto­mat­ic weapons, an anti-air­craft machine gun with 850 rounds of ammu­ni­tion, rock­et-pro­pelled grenades, sniper ammu­ni­tion and bomb-mak­ing mate­ri­als. The secu­ri­ty force detained the com­man­der and an addi­tion­al sus­pect­ed insur­gent and destroyed the vehi­cle and weapons at the scene. 

The secu­ri­ty force iden­ti­fied one of the dead insur­gents as a for­mer detainee tak­en dur­ing an oper­a­tion in March. 

An Afghan-led secu­ri­ty force killed an insur­gent dur­ing a delib­er­ate clear­ing oper­a­tion yes­ter­day after intel­li­gence indi­cat­ed an ene­my Kab­ul attack net­work was plan­ning a dou­ble sui­cide bomb­ing attack in Kab­ul City. 

The com­bined force vis­it­ed mul­ti­ple areas out­side the city after intel­li­gence indi­cat­ed insur­gent activ­i­ty. Dur­ing the search, the com­bined secu­ri­ty force was engaged by a man armed with an assault rifle, and the secu­ri­ty force returned fire and killed him. 

Also yes­ter­day, Afghan sol­diers led the clear­ance of sev­er­al com­pounds in Musahi dis­trict out­side Kab­ul, in part­ner­ship with coali­tion forces. This clear­ing oper­a­tion fol­lowed sev­er­al last month that were focused on inter­rupt­ing insur­gent attack plan­ning against the July 20 Kab­ul Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence, offi­cials said. Six total oper­a­tions in Kab­ul dis­trict result­ed in five Tal­iban facil­i­ta­tors cap­tured and an addi­tion­al 10 insur­gents either killed or detained. 

While the con­fer­ence was a suc­cess and no major insur­gent attacks mate­ri­al­ized, offi­cials said, Afghan and coali­tion forces plan to con­tin­ue putting the pres­sure on insur­gents plan­ning attacks in and around Kabul. 

An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained one sus­pect­ed insur­gent in Khost province the night of July 31 in the con­tin­ued search for a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work bomb-attack facil­i­ta­tor. This fol­lows sev­er­al suc­cess­ful oper­a­tions against the net­work oper­at­ing in the Khost-Gardez Pass this week, offi­cials said, as Afghan and coali­tion forces killed at least a dozen insur­gents, pos­si­bly includ­ing the top Haqqani net­work com­man­der for the area, and cap­tured sev­en Haqqani lead­ers dur­ing the oper­a­tions. No civil­ians were hurt or wound­ed in these operations. 

The secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a series of com­pounds near the vil­lage of Sivakay in the province’s Khost dis­trict to search for the facil­i­ta­tor. After ini­tial ques­tion­ing, the sus­pect­ed insur­gent was detained. No shots were fired, and the force pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren who were present. 

An Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force in Khost detained a Haqqani facil­i­ta­tor and oth­er sus­pect­ed insur­gents The night of July 30. No shots were fired, and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search. 

Also on the night of July 31, an Afghan and coali­tion secu­ri­ty force detained two sus­pect­ed insur­gents in Zab­ul province while in pur­suit of the Tal­iban deputy com­man­der for the province’s Shah Joy district. 

Afghan and coali­tion forces tar­get­ed a com­pound out­side the vil­lage of Walan Robat in pur­suit of the com­man­der, who report­ed­ly leads more than 30 Tal­iban fight­ers. As they do in all sim­i­lar oper­a­tions, Afghan forces called out to the res­i­dents to come out of the tar­get­ed com­pound. The res­i­dents peace­ful­ly com­plied and were inter­viewed by the com­bined forces, and the two sus­pect­ed insur­gents were lat­er detained for fur­ther ques­tion­ing. No shots were fired, and women and chil­dren were pro­tect­ed through­out the search. 

An Afghan-led secu­ri­ty force detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed insur­gents and destroyed an active road­side bomb and three mor­tar rounds dur­ing a two-day clear­ing oper­a­tion that end­ed July 31. The oper­a­tion was aimed at dis­rupt­ing the ene­my in what his­tor­i­cal­ly had been a Tal­iban safe haven used to stage attacks into Kan­da­har City. 

Afghan sol­diers led the clear­ance of sev­er­al com­pounds on the out­skirts of Mol­la Dust vil­lage in Kan­da­har province’s Pan­jwai dis­trict in part­ner­ship with coali­tion forces. 

In oth­er news from Afghanistan, ene­my actions con­tin­ue to take a heavy civil­ian toll, ISAF offi­cials said. 

Five Afghan chil­dren were killed and an Afghan police offi­cer was injured today when a sui­cide bomber using a vehi­cle-borne bomb tried to attack the gov­er­nor of the Dand dis­trict in Kan­da­har province. 

The attacker’s device det­o­nat­ed before reach­ing its des­ti­na­tion, caus­ing the civil­ian casu­al­ties. A short time lat­er, anoth­er device det­o­nat­ed near­by, but nobody was injured.

At least two civil­ians were killed and 11 oth­ers were wound­ed yes­ter­day in a bomb­ing attack in Kandahar’s Mai­wand dis­trict. An ISAF patrol came across the vic­tims after the strike and pro­vid­ed imme­di­ate med­ical assis­tance to the injured civil­ians, who then were trans­port­ed to local med­ical facilities. 

On July 31, a sui­cide attack killed a civil­ian leader and an Afghan police offi­cer and wound­ed four more civil­ians at a sports field in Kun­duz City in north­ern Afghanistan. The attack occurred at a sports field. The wound­ed civil­ians were tak­en to a near­by ISAF facil­i­ty for treatment. 

Accord­ing con­firmed coali­tion reports, offi­cials said, insur­gents have killed more than 590 inno­cent Afghan civil­ians and wound­ed more than 1,350 this year. 

Source:
Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releases 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →