Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Op MOSHTARAK - The hard part starts now

A Military Operations news article

15 Feb 10

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth has said that following the successful 'clearing phase' of Operation MOSHTARAK which began this weekend, the hard part - providing enduring security and opportunities for the local people so the Taliban cannot return - now begins.

Afghan villagers attend a shura

Afghan villagers attend a shura organised by Afghan and UK forces in a freshly-secured compound in Nad 'Ali
[Picture: Staff Sergeant Mark Jones, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

Following the initial airborne and ground offensives that marked the start of Operation MOSHTARAK on Saturday morning, the theme for UK forces in the past 24 hours has been consolidation.

Patrols have been sent out into the areas that the original assaults did not cover and there have been successful searches for improvised explosive devices.

Shuras have also been held between the local population and the Afghan National Army, and new patrol bases have begun to be built.

The operation was launched by a combined force of 15,000 Afghan, American, British and other ISAF troops with the British and their Afghan partners focusing on the areas around Nad 'Ali, and the Americans and their Afghan partners focusing on the Marjah region.

Speaking to the media, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said:

"These are the most significant operations in recent times in Helmand province. All these areas of central Helmand that we have gone into now have been within the control of the Taliban for quite some time and they are very important centres of the insurgency, and it is most important that we take control, that we are able to offer security to the people who live there."...

Read more - from the British point of view, here. Keeping all our troops in my prayers.

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