emportal home
ECOFIN Ministers to discuss how banks should assume their responsibility in the crisis Shipyard privatisation tenders published in Financial Times, Lloyd's List Cardiff Airport: New Bulgarian ski route with Balkan Holidays Refinancing & Cash Consumer Loans in dinars, with fixed interest rates Greek - Russian multilateral diplomacy EBRD Power and Energy team sweeps project awards Romania: Over 3,500 employees of public energy companies to be dismissed in 2010 Greece: Week of strikes ahead Evros Prefecture still in state of emergency Greece defends Goldman Sachs debt tactics Greece: Wall St. helped to mask debt fueling Europe’s crisis Croatia: PM Kosor and President Mesic pleased with their cooperation Bulgarian economy hits rock bottom with 6.2% decline Q4 ‘09 No canceled flights at Sofia Airport EU Foreign Policy representative Catherine Ashton will travel to BiH US Congressional Delegation in Sarajevo Jelko Kacin to attend the 12th inter-parliamentary meeting in Sarajevo Serbia and Romania agree to continue PEOP project “Cleansing” in KSF Albin Kurti trial adjourned to 22 February RF expects Bulgaria to explain its plans to deploy US ABM sites Bosnia: Federation PM fears “economic collapse” MONEYVAL publishes report on Serbia NBS foreign exchange reserves rose by EUR 44.4 million in January Ministry of Finance, EBRD, Srbijagas to sign agreements Police officer seriously injured in Bujanovac blast Orthodox Church temporarily dismisses Bishop Artemije Cvetkovic: Serbia's European road is no longer questioned Ministerial conference on dealing with emergencies Jeremic visits Qatar Serbia’s ski resorts empty due to the economic crisis and visa liberalisation Serbia hopes to become China's gateway to Europe January retail prices, services up 0.8% on average

News Archive

NATO forces launch major offensive against Taliban in Afghanistan

14. February 2010. | 09:29 09:40

Source: EMportal, MIA

The United States, British and Afghan forces have kicked off a major offensive operation against Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan, which is liable to prove the biggest battles in the eight-year-long war on terror in the post-Taliban country.

The United States, British and Afghan forces have kicked off a major offensive operation against Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan, which is liable to prove the biggest battles in the eight-year-long war on terror in the post-Taliban country.

Operation Mushtarak, or Together, in Marjah area of Helmand province is the biggest joint military campaign of the US-led NATO and Afghan forces to uproot the hardcore Taliban fighters from their main bastion in the troubled country, news agencies reported on Saturday.

Helmand, besides the neighboring Kandahar province, has all along served as the breeding ground and nesting place for the Taliban insurgents ever since their forcible ejection from power in 2001.

The province has seen three major operations by the coalition and the Afghan forces last year. While the British forces carried out operation Panther's Claw, their American counterpart conducted Strike of the Sword operation to clear major parts of the province from the Taliban.

For their part, the Afghan National Army (ANA) also carried out operation Atal (Champion) in the same province. While the Afghan government and the coalition forces claimed victory in the operations, the Taliban discredited their gains and later announced launching of their own operation, Iron Net in the province.

In the last three operations in the area, the Taliban had avoided direct battlefield conflict, simply melting away and later resorting to hit-and-run strikes and IED (improvised explosive device) attacks against military vehicles and personnel of the coalition forces.

This time round, a couple of skirmishes have already taken place when the coalition forces tried to block the exit points of Marjah valley to check Taliban's flight from the battle zone.

Taliban militants have also fired rockets on advance parties of the troops at different places. A large number of Marjah's 130.000 population - 85.000 inside Marjah town and an estimated 45.000 more in outlying parts of the district - have already started to leave the area for safer places in Lashkar Gah, capital city of the Helmand province, and other parts of Nad Ali district.

The coalition forces are trying to muster support of the local population, convincing them of the fairness of their objective to restore order in the area and put the local population on path to economic prosperity. They also want to avoid civilian casualties, which, in the past, has earned the wrath of the local populations as well as the Kabul administration.

Over 1.000 Taliban fighters are thought to be still locked in pockets of Marjah town and the suburban hamlets as over 4.000 of the 9.000 plus British forces, besides an even larger number of US Marines and ANA soldiers, are poised to take part in the operation.

For the first time in Afghanistan, the coalition forces are also using landmine breacher vehicles and IED buster machines, which they expect to play major role in disorienting the enemy fighters.

Roadside bombs and landmines have hitherto been the major weapons available to the Taliban fighters, through which they have killed a large number of US and British forces and checked their movement in larger swathes of southern Afghanistan.

Operation Mushtarak is projected to be similar to the one the U. S. forces had carried out in Faluja province of Iraq in 2004, in which they had to clear Fluja city street by street.

While contemplating political and economic moves to woo the moderate Taliban who do not have links with the al-Qaida, the new US strategy foresees rather tougher actions against their hardcore fighters to pave the way for handing over the security responsibility to the Afghan army and police before starting withdrawal in July 2011.

For the purpose, 30.000 additional US and several thousand NATO forces are to be sent to the country, particularly to southern Afghanistan.

A large number of these fresh forces will take part in the Marjah offensive

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) announced today that key military “clearing” operations for Operation Moshtarak have begun in central Helmand. These “clearing” operations follow the smaller-scaled “shaping” operations that have helped set the conditions for this new phase of operations.

The combined force comprises the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, International Security Assistance Force Regional Command (South), and Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team. The operations now underway are designed to clear the region of insurgents and set the conditions for GIRoA to introduce increased security, stability, development, rule of law, freedom of movement and reconstruction.

The goal of Operation Moshtarak – a Dari word for "together" – is for the combined force (ANA, ANP, ISAF and the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team) to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in asserting its authority in central Helmand, thereby demonstrating the Afghan government’s commitment to the people living there.

The operation is being conducted in line with the wishes of the Afghan government in Helmand. The security forces involved are serving side-by-side, representing partnership in strength.


My Web

Enter text:


15. February - 21. February 2010.