Friday, February 12, 2010

Operation Moshtarak: largest operation in Afghan war

Roughly 15,000 U.S., Afghan and NATO troops have launced an attack on the Taliban in the central Helmand province town of Marjah in what senior military commanders are calling the largest operation since the start of the Afghanistan war.  From Fox News:
Officials in the area have been signaling the offensive for weeks with hopes that innocent civilians and dispassionate Taliban fighters would flee the area. Commanders are stressing the importance of protecting the population rather than simply killing the resistance. Yet there have been reports civilians are having trouble getting out. "They (Taliban) don't allow families to leave. Families can only leave the village when they are not seen while leaving", Qari Mohammad Nabi, a Marjah resident, said Friday shortly before the invasion.

The objective of Operation Moshtarak, which means "together" in Dari, is to secure the region from narcoterrism and establish basic services under supervision of the Afghan government, a senior defense official told Fox. To do that, Afghan and NATO forces need to defeat the remaining insurgents and drastically reduce the number of heroin producing crops that fund the Taliban. U.S. commanders are confident they'll win the fight, but removing the poppy will prove harder than the battle.
Michael Yon is embedded with our troops in Afghanistan and has the best real-time, real-life information about this operation and the war in general.  You can follow his short posts on facebook and his detailed dispatches and excellent photographs on his website.  Michael is an independent photojournalist and entirely self-funded.  Make a donation if you can.

God bless the men and women taking the fight to our enemies.

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