BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Sept. 26, 2011) – Multiple kinetic operations and significant interdiction efforts have dealt serious blows to insurgent networks and marked a steady increase in Afghan and Coalition security force momentum in eastern Afghanistan.
Five major combined RC-East operations over the last 60 days have focused on the volatile border provinces of Khost, Paktiya, Nuristan, Paktika and Wardak to the west of Kabul. These operations have proved vital in disrupting insurgent capabilities and preventing safe havens on the Afghan side of the border.
Since mid-May, combined forces have killed more than 450 enemy fighters and detained close to 300 in operations in the east.
A recent operation in Saygal and Chanak valleys in Laghman Province to clear insurgent support zones saw early enemy resistance quickly dry up. Many times, insurgents simply walked away from historical strongholds.
“This is a disorganized and demoralized enemy who tries to exploit the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” said British Maj. Matthew Palmer, deputy chief of operations for RC-East. “During operations along the Pakistan border, insurgents continue to flee and refuse to directly engage ANSF and Coalition forces.”
In Ghazni Province, security forces captured 125 kgs. of bomb making material and 20 heavy and light machine guns in one raid. In Nangarhar, a local villager turned in over 80 mines and rockets while officials from the Afghan NDS, acting on a tip, arrested two individuals attempting to smuggle almost 1,700 kgs. of explosives hidden in cement containers.
In addition to conventional Afghan and Coalition force successes, Afghan Commando and special operation members continue the fight. An Afghan Commando-led operation in the Waygal Valley and Barg-e Matal district in Nuristan Province resulted in dozens of insurgents being killed.
In late July, an Afghan-led security force killed over 50 insurgents during a security clearance of a known Haqqani Network foreign fighter encampment site at Sar Rowzah district, Paktika Province. The encampment site was a staging area for foreign fighters, who were moved into the country by Haqqani insurgents to conduct large scale attacks throughout Afghanistan. The security force was notified of the Haqqani’s training camp location as a result of reports from disenfranchised insurgents.
“Despite the Haqqani claims, we have no credible intelligence indicating that the Haqqani network has eliminated their operating safehavens in Pakistan,” said Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). “They continue to plan and execute operations from across the border. Coalition forces will continue to work with Afghan security forces here in Afghanistan, and our Pakistani allies, to apply pressure to both sides of the border in our effort to eliminate this terrorist threat.”
In August, Afghan and coalition forces captured or killed numerous Haqqani insurgents along the Pakistani border in Paktiya and Khost – to include Haqqani’s second-in-charge for Paktiya province.
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