U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division kneel outside the town of Badmuk, Kunar province, Afghanistan. (Photo by Spc. Anthony Jackson)
KABUL, Afghanistan (Sept. 8) — Despite increased insurgent violence and intimidation traditionally associated with the summer ‘fighting season,’ ISAF and Afghan security forces continue to make steady progress in expanding security zones throughout Afghanistan.
Operations in the south continue as ISAF and Afghan security forces take measured strides in securing Kandahar City and its outlying regions. Recently, the Afghan Border Police led a 500-man operation to clear Malajat, an insurgent staging area south-west of Kandahar City. The operation resulted in dozens of insurgents captured or killed and the discovery and safe destruction of 140 IEDs.
Moreover, Kandahar Provincial Governor Wesa, working with the Kandahar Provincial Council, was critical in laying the groundwork and garnering support for this Afghan-led operation.
“This operation demonstrates the leadership of Governor Wesa as well as further improvements in the capability of our ANSF partners. Afghan leadership in this operation enabled a success which ISAF alone could not have achieved,” said Canadian Forces Brig. Gen. Christine Whitecross, the ISAF deputy chief of communication.
Meanwhile, in eastern Afghanistan, combined security forces continue to put pressure on the Haqqani Network; a dangerous insurgent group responsible for multiple attacks, including the recent attacks on Forward Operating Bases Chapman and Salerno in Khost Province.
During the attacks, Afghan and Coalition forces killed more than 30 Haqqani fighters, including 13 wearing suicide vests as they attempted to storm ISAF FOBs and government buildings in Khost. Mudasir, a Haqqani suicide bomber and improvised explosive device facilitator, was also killed as he attempted to flee following the attackers’ defeat.
Over a one week period following these attacks on coalition bases, Afghan and Coalition forces captured 15 Haqqani commanders, including one who provided vehicle-borne IEDs used in the attacks.
“Haqqani remains a lethal threat in eastern Afghanistan. Our forces, working with their Afghan partners, are keeping the heat on this network; we will continue to relentlessly pursue these dangerous individuals in the coming weeks and months,” General Whitecross said.
Throughout Afghanistan coalition and Afghan forces continue to disrupt insurgent networks through the use of precise targeted operations. Their efforts last week alone resulted in 30 insurgent leaders and over 250 rank-and-file fighters killed or captured.
A recent operation in Paktiya province resulted in the capture of Abdul Baqi, a Logar-based Taliban sub-commander responsible for command-wire improvised explosive device attacks, including one that killed four US soldiers on Highway 1 August 31.
Now, almost all the forces designated in the troop uplift are in place, including 30,000 US troops and about 7,000 of the expected over 9,000 additional Non-US troops.
With the arrival of the nearly all resources associated with the troop uplift, ISAF is prepared to continue a comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign that is building momentum.
“Now, with increased resources at our disposal, we have the capacity to more effectively carry out a broad campaign to secure the Afghan population from violence, intimidation and corruption” General Whitecross said. “We will also continue to aggressively pursue those who seek to destabilize Afghanistan.”