Afghanistan Command Provides Details of Recent Operations
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2010 International Security Assistance Force Joint Command officials have provided details of numerous operations around Afghanistan.
In Badghis province:
-- An Afghan-led combined force disrupted insurgent fighters along with their weapons and financing network in the Morghab River Valley during an Aug. 10 presence and security patrol. The partnered patrol allowed Afghan soldiers, assisted by a U.S. Marine Corps special operations team, to take the lead in providing the security around Bala Murghab. The combined team met with local elders in an area that had been outside of Afghan government and coalition forces’ influence for more than two years. The team received sporadic fire from insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades, small-arms and machine guns. The team responded with small-arms fire and precision-guided munitions from coalition air forces on the insurgent positions, killing an unknown number of insurgents. No civilian casualties were reported. An explosive ordnance disposal team identified and destroyed an assault rifle, 18 RPG rounds, two anti-aircraft rounds and other miscellaneous ordnance and weapons.
In Helmand province:
-- An Afghan and coalition force detained two suspected Taliban insurgents yesterday while in pursuit of a Taliban bomb manufacturer in the Marja district. The security force discovered and secured a house that may have been booby-trapped with explosives. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children who were present throughout the search.
-- ISAF officials confirmed the capture of a Taliban commander and several other insurgents in the remote Nawah-ye Barakzai district who was responsible for ordering small-arms fire and bombing attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. The commander was among several suspected Taliban insurgents detained during a combined operation Aug. 14 The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children who were present throughout the search.
-- Coalition forces killed a Taliban commander and bomb-attack facilitator in the Nad-e-Ali district Aug. 13. The targeted commander has commanded attacks in southern Nad-e-Ali and has been reported to have been responsible for several attacks and setting numerous command-wired bombs. He was a senior tactical-level commander with high-level Taliban connections, officials said. No civilians were injured during the operation.
-- Afghan and coalition forces conducted a combined operation Aug. 14 that resulted in the detention of a key bomb-attack facilitator and the destruction of a large weapons cache. During a search of the targeted compound, the combined force found a large cache of bomb and heavy machine gun components, about 20 mortar rounds, five rocket-propelled grenade warheads, about 300 30 mm rounds and a suicide vest. Opium was also found at the scene. The weapons and drugs were destroyed in place. No civilians were injured, and the force protected women and children throughout the operation. Afterward, Afghan forces met with the local residents to explain the operation.
-- A combined Afghan and coalition force detained several suspected Taliban insurgents in the Nawah-ye Barakzai district Aug. 14 while in pursuit of a Taliban commander who is responsible for small-arms fire and bombing attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition security forces. As the combined force approached a targeted compound, a group of men tried to escape the area. The force tracked them down and peacefully detained two of the suspected insurgents. After questioning the residents, the assault force detained additional suspected insurgents. The security force found wet opium and a shotgun at the scene. A separate security force targeted a different compound and detained several suspected insurgents were detained. The security forces did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the searches.
-- ISAF officials confirmed the capture of the Taliban deputy commander of Lashkar Gah district, who commanded more than 100 fighters, during an Afghan-led operation Aug. 4.
-- Two insurgents were killed and several others detained in a combined operation northwest of Kajaki. The combined force secured the targeted compound and protected women and children before conducting a search that yielded about 2 pounds of opium. One of the people the combined force detained is a suspected Taliban commander who operates in a network known to exert control over the local population through intimidation and violence. Most recently, he has been receiving bomb components and weaponry used to carry out attacks around Zamindawar. No civilians were harmed in the operation.
In Kandahar province:
-- Afghan and coalition forces destroyed nearly a ton of hashish and opium in the Maiwand district yesterday after identifying and moving in on a vehicle that has been known to be associated with a narcotics processing facility.
-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a key Taliban weapons distributor for insurgents operating in Kandahar City and detained several additional suspected insurgents in the province yesterday. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected the women and children who were present.
-- In the Panjwai district yesterday, an Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected Taliban insurgents, including a Taliban commander who provided guidance and direction to Taliban fighters conducting bombing attacks and ambushes against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected the women and children who were present.
-- In a combined operation Aug. 12 in the Registan Desert, Afghan and coalition forces detained several individuals with suspected links to insurgents and narcotics. They were discovered during vehicle checks in high-traffic areas of the desert. The combined force seized weapons and destroyed two vehicles used for drug trafficking.
In Khost province:
-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected Haqqani terrorist network insurgents yesterday while in pursuit of a Haqqani weapons and ammunition facilitator responsible for multiple attacks throughout the Sabari and Musa Khel districts. The security force found multiple rifles and Pakistani currency at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children throughout the search.
In Kunduz province:
-- ISAF officials confirmed the death of Abu Baqir, a Taliban subcommander and al-Qaida group leader, after a coalition force air weapons team engaged his truck yesterday. He was one of two insurgents killed in the strike, which occurred after the air weapons team witnessed the insurgents attacking an Aliabad police station. The air weapons team tracked the insurgents from the police station, and when they determined no civilians were in the area, they engaged the truck. Baqir reportedly was housing four potential suicide bombers for upcoming attacks. The strike also wounded other insurgents, and a follow-on security force detained two of them at the hospital.
-- Afghan and coalition forces killed two insurgents Aug. 14 after coming under attack from small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. With support from a Luna unmanned aerial vehicle, ISAF officials were able to identify and destroy an insurgent cannon-firing position with a guided anti-tank missile. Through the operation, the forces received small-arms and RPG fire from multiple locations. No ISAF troops were injured, and no civilian injuries were reported.
In Logar province:
-- In the Baraki Barak district Aug. 14, an Afghan and coalition security force detained two suspected Taliban insurgents, including a Taliban facilitator connected to an attack network. The commander provided ammunition and rockets to fighters to use in attacks against Forward Operating Base Shank. The security force did not fire their weapons, and they protected women and children who were present.
In Paktia province:
-- During a multi-day clearing operation against Haqqani network foreign-fighter camps and safe havens in the Dzadran district last week, combined Afghan and coalition security forces killed more than 20 armed insurgents, including Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters. The combined security forces also discovered and destroyed multiple bombs and bomb components, two 82 mm mortar systems with dozens of mortar rounds, a recoilless rifle, a heavy machine gun and multiple grenades. Coalition forces also conducted a precision air strike against an enemy ammunitions bunker, preventing it from being used in the future.
In Paktika province:
-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several suspected Taliban insurgents in yesterday, including a Taliban commander and a facilitator. The commander advises an ambush network in the province, and the facilitator traffics explosives, ammunition and weapons to insurgent fighters in the area. The assault force found multiple automatic weapons with ammunition and magazines at the scene, did not fire their weapons, and protected women and children throughout the search.
-- ISAF officials confirmed the capture of a Taliban subcommander who conducted bombing attacks against Afghan civilians and Afghan and coalition forces. The commander was among several suspected insurgents detained during an Aug. 14 Afghan and coalition operation that began when a coalition force air weapons team engaged two motorcycles after witnessing a group of insurgents planting a roadside bomb. The group escaped the engagement, but the air weapons team followed the motorcycles to nearby compounds in the Mota Khan district, where the security force detained the commander and five additional suspected insurgents. The security force found the motorcycles at the compounds; the first motorcycle carried several rocket-propelled grenades and bomb components, and the second carried an RPG round with booster and detonation wire.
In other news from Afghanistan, an Afghan child was killed and three others were wounded in Kunduz province’s Qal-Ah-Ye-Zal district today when a bomb planted on a bicycle lying in a ditch exploded. The wounded children were taken to a civilian hospital.
In Paktia province’s Amad Kheyl village, Afghan villagers were repairing a washed-out bridge Aug. 14 when insurgents fired on an Afghan police patrol passing nearby. A villager and three police officers were wounded. Police brought all four wounded people to a forward operating base in the area, where they were treated by U.S. medical personnel. Two of the police officers were released after treatment, but the civilian and one officer were taken to an Afghan army hospital in Gardez.
Two Afghan civilians were injured Aug. 13 when a roadside bomb detonated as Afghan border police patrolled near Chamkani in Paktiya province.
Three children were killed Aug. 14 when insurgents attacked a base operated by coalition forces in Khost province. The insurgents fired their rockets despite the presence of children and civilians, officials said. Two children died in the blast and a third girl was brought to Forward Operating Base Salerno Combat Support Hospital, where she later died. The mother of two of the children also was injured and is being treated at the base.
Three Afghan civilians were killed and one was wounded by insurgents in three separate incidents in Kandahar province Aug. 13. Two Afghan civilians were killed when insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at their vehicle, causing it to catch fire and burn in the Arghandab district. Another Afghan civilian was stabbed to death by insurgents near the governor's palace in Kandahar City.
In a separate incident in the Arghandab district, an Afghan civilian was wounded by an insurgent bomb. Family members took the wounded civilian to a nearby coalition facility, where ISAF medical personnel provided treatment.
ISAF officials said insurgents have killed more than 640 Afghan civilians and wounded more than 1,450 others this year.
An ISAF-Afghan initial assessment team was sent to Lashkar Gah district in Helmand province Aug. 13 to gather information regarding possible civilian casualties. The team, led by Air Force Brig. Gen. Timothy M. Zadalis, ISAF Joint Command director of plans and projects, included officials from the Afghan interior and defense ministries and ISAF staff officers. It examined an Aug. 13 operation that led to civilian casualty allegations.
During the operation, ISAF forces under heavy fire by insurgents called in close-air support. Later that day, four wounded and three dead Afghan civilians were brought to a nearby checkpoint, where two of the wounded died. The remaining two wounded were immediately evacuated to an ISAF medical facility.
While gathering information, the assessment team received briefings about the operation, reviewed gun-camera footage and met with the district governor's staff. While the team has not finalized its assessment, ISAF officials said, it believes there is evidence civilians were in the targeted compound during the operation.
"We regret this tragic loss of life, Zedalis said. “Our first objective is to protect the people of Afghanistan, and in this case, we may have failed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives."