NEWS | Feb. 14, 2010

Clearing operations begin in central Helmand

By None , ISAF Public Information Office

An Afghan soldier fires a rocket at insurgents during Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
An Afghan soldier fires a rocket at insurgents during Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

KABUL (Feb. 13, 2010) – Key military clearing operations for Operation Moshtarak have begun in the central part of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Afghan government officials announced Saturday.

The clearing operations follow smaller-scaled shaping operations that have helped to set the conditions for this new phase, officials said.

The combined force comprises the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, International Security Assistance Force Regional Command South and the Helmand provincial reconstruction team. The operations now under way are designed to clear the region of insurgents and set the conditions for the Afghan government to introduce increased security, stability, development, rule of law, freedom of movement and reconstruction, officials said.

Officials said the goal of Operation Moshtarak – a Dari word for "together" – is for the combined force to support the Afghan government in asserting its authority in central Helmand and demonstrating its commitment to the people living there.

“The operation is being conducted in line with the wishes of the Afghan government in Helmand,” a statement issued by the ISAF Joint Command said. “The security forces involved are serving side by side, representing partnership in strength.”