Afghanistan/Australien — Combined Afghan and Australian force targets major insurgent cell

Afghan secu­ri­ty troops and Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces have con­duct­ed dis­rup­tion oper­a­tions in south­ern Afghanistan that suc­cess­ful­ly tar­get­ed Tal­iban net­works in an insur­gent strong­hold in north­ern Kan­da­har province.

Shah Wali Kot Offensive
An Aus­tralian Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group sol­diers observ­ing the val­ley dur­ing the Shah Wali Kot Offen­sive.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
Click to enlarge

The large scale offen­sive against Tal­iban insur­gents in the dis­trict of Shah Wali Kot, was part of ISAF’s HAMKARI ini­tia­tive, an ongo­ing civ­il-mil­i­tary activ­i­ty aimed at bring­ing secu­ri­ty, gov­er­nance and eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ty to the peo­ple of Kandahar. 

The five-day Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Force (ANSF) and Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group oper­a­tion involved heavy fight­ing against insur­gents result­ing in the deaths of a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of insurgents. 

On day two, the large-scale con­tact last­ed over thir­teen hours. On arrival by heli­copter, the com­bined force was imme­di­ate­ly engaged by insur­gents using small arms and machine gun fire. 

Over a four and a half hour peri­od, the Tal­iban used con­cealed fight­ing posi­tions and access to aque­ducts and creek lines to bring sus­tained fire against the coali­tion force. 

The com­bined force suf­fered two casu­al­ties from gun­shot wounds; one Aus­tralian sol­dier was wound­ed in the arm while a part­nered Afghan ANSF offi­cer was struck in the side. While under fire from insur­gents, both were rapid­ly aero med­ical­ly evac­u­at­ed to Tarin Kowt where they are recovering. 

The Com­man­der of Aus­tralian Forces in the Mid­dle East, Major Gen­er­al John Cantwell, said the com­bined force had dealt a major blow to the insur­gent forces and their com­man­ders and made a major and direct con­tri­bu­tion to ISAF secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions focused on Kan­da­har province and its near­by districts. 

“Through the Shah Wali Kot offen­sive, the com­bined coali­tion force has severe­ly dis­rupt­ed an impor­tant insur­gent strong­hold. They inflict­ed sub­stan­tial loss­es on a deter­mined and heav­i­ly armed ene­my force,” Major Gen­er­al Cantwell said. 

The oper­a­tion has also denied the insur­gents a stag­ing area from which to tran­sit into Oruz­gan province, which is expect­ed to have a pos­i­tive effect on security. 

Com­man­der of the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group, Lieu­tenant Colonel P, said that it was the com­bined and syn­chro­nised effort between the ANSF, Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces, and the U.S. Task Force heli­copter detach­ment that led to the suc­cess of the Shah Wali Kot offensive. 

After five days of oper­a­tions, Aus­tralian Spe­cial Forces, in coop­er­a­tion with their Afghan part­ner forces, suc­ceed­ed in achiev­ing all oper­a­tional tasks that result­ed in sur­viv­ing insur­gents depart­ing the area. 

The dis­rup­tion of Tal­iban oper­a­tions has now enabled the ANSF and Aus­tralian troops to meet with mem­bers of the local com­mu­ni­ty to plan ways for the Gov­ern­ment of Afghanistan to assist in pre­vent­ing Tal­iban insur­gents from returning. 

The Com­man­der of ISAF Region­al Com­mand South, Major Gen­er­al Nick Carter, spoke to the troops dur­ing a vis­it to the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group in Tarin Kowt. “The actions in Shah Wali Kot have made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to ongo­ing oper­a­tional activ­i­ty in Kan­da­har by dis­rupt­ing a key insur­gent safe haven,” Major Gen­er­al Carter said. “Aus­tralian Com­man­dos and Spe­cial Air Ser­vice troops of the SOTG are a great asset to Region­al Com­mand South and the ISAF Coali­tion – the skill and courage they demon­strat­ed in this action is most impres­sive and they are mak­ing an invalu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the campaign.” 

Lieu­tenant Colonel P said the local pop­u­la­tion of Shah Wali Kot was grate­ful to the Afghan and Aus­tralian forces for push­ing out the insur­gents who had occu­pied their vil­lages and forced them to pro­vide food and shelter. 

“By remov­ing the insur­gents from where they were not wel­come, we have strength­ened the community’s resolve to keep out the Tal­iban,” Lieu­tenant Colonel P said. A large num­ber of weapons were recov­ered after the con­tact includ­ing assault rifles, heavy machine guns, rock­et pro­pelled grenade launch­ers and sev­er­al radio handsets. 

One civil­ian Afghan man approached coali­tion forces after the con­tact and request­ed med­ical treat­ment for a wound to his hand. It is not clear how he was wound­ed. It is not a life-threat­en­ing wound. He is receiv­ing treat­ment from the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal at Tarin Kowt. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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. GlobalDefence.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 →