Three-weeks of partnered operations against the leadership of insurgent cells within Uruzgan has effectively dismantled a regional-level cell and significantly disrupted two district-level groups who were actively planning or conducting activities within the province.
The intelligence-led operations have significantly impacted on the insurgency’s spring-time preparations and reconfirmed the effectiveness of the Special Operations Task Group’s (SOTG) partnering with the Provincial Response Company- Uruzgan (PRC‑U).
Commander of the Australian Forces in the Middle East Major General Angus Campbell said the effectiveness of the insurgent leadership in central and western Uruzgan was seriously undermined by the operations.
“Partnered Special Forces operations in March have resulted in 10 key insurgent commanders no longer posing a threat to local nationals and Coalition forces in Uruzgan province,” Major General Campbell said.
“The insurgency is now more vulnerable than it has been in recent years and after a winter period where many of its caches were discovered and destroyed, they will find it more difficult to construct home-made bombs and attack civilian and coalition targets.”
The string of successes in Operation TEVARA SIN 24 started on 18 March when partnered PRC‑U and SOTG patrols successfully interdicted two insurgent commanders operating in the western areas of Uruzgan province.
One of these men, Mullah Abdul Ali, was shot and killed along with his bodyguard when they displayed clearly hostile intent against the approaching PRC‑U and SOTG patrol.
Mullah Abdul Ali was an insurgent commander responsible for improvised explosive device (IED) and suicide bomb attacks in western Uruzgan.
The second district-level insurgent commander was detained on 19 March and is alleged to have been heavily involved in the manufacture, distribution and employment of IEDs in western Uruzgan.
Concurrent operations on 27 March resulted in the detention of an alleged district-level commander in the Mirabad valley region, and separately a person believed to be a prolific IED facilitator in the Deh Rafshan area.
The person detained in Mirabad is believed to have direct links to the highest levels of the insurgency in the province.
“He is suspected of being a subordinate of one of the senior commanders in Uruzgan and responsible for multiple attacks on Afghan National Police checkpoints and facilitating IEDs throughout eastern Uruzgan,” Major General Campbell said.
The partnered force also killed the senior logistician responsible for supporting several insurgent cells operating in the central Uruzgan region in a related operation the following day.
On 28 March, members of the PRC‑U and SOTG killed two armed insurgents in Deh Rafshan after they engaged the patrol with small arms fire.
It was later confirmed that one of those killed in the March 28 engagement was Ahmadi Kaka, an accomplished IED manufacturer and facilitator who played a key role in supporting insurgent operations in central Uruzgan.
He was instrumental in the provision of weapons and money and was actively involved in the recruitment of insurgents.
“His death is considered a serious blow to the insurgent groups currently consolidating after the winter period, and highlights the effectiveness of our partnered PRC‑U and SOTG operations against the insurgent leadership,” Major General Campbell said.
On March 30, a suspected insurgent was detained in an operation in the Khod Valley. He has been identified as a district-level insurgent commander and IED facilitator.
Over the weekend the partnered force continued its successful operation, killing regional-level commander Muhammad Wali during an engagement in the Mirabad Valley region on 3 April.
The successful interdiction of Wali came only a day after two district-level commanders, Nasrullah and Muhammad Shah Mamood were killed during a separate, but related, operation in the Deh Rawud region.
During Operation TEVARA SIN 24, an insurgent 82mm mortar and associated ammunition, personnel weapons and several items used in the manufacture of IEDs and the coordination of insurgent attacks were also captured.
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