SAS take out top 50 Taliban
British SAS heroes have killed up to 50 Taliban commanders in daring raids behind enemy lines.
With a little help from some friends. ;-)
The joint attacks with US special forces over the past two weeks have helped prepare the ground for the biggest battle in Afghanistan yet - when 4,000 British troops will go into action.
|That's a lot of bad guy emirs, who are harder to replace than cannon fodder. Well done to all involved.|
Special forces dealt the deadly blow to the Taliban by taking out scores of their top field commanders in the build-up to the massive offensive. SAS men and US Navy SEAL teams killed the 50 insurgent leaders in a series of dramatic covert operations deep inside southern Afghanistan's Helmand badlands. Their objective was to destroy the Taliban command structure - and military sources labelled the daring raids "a great success".
Wow! Looks like this novel tactic might be working!
Precise details remain a secret but it is known that the elite forces spearheaded a "shaping operation" to soften-up the enemy before the biggest offensive since the conflict began in 2001 is launched.
Any time left for any further "shaping"? Seems they don't know to hide even though they are already under attack. Is this for real? Things aren't going to improve for them magically, it would seem.
Other British units have also been heavily engaged in the operations to disrupt the Taliban.
Stealing their wooden legs and glass eyes are they?
Scots Guards uncovered a bomb-making factory and destroyed more than 20 deadly devices. Grenadier Guards pushed south, hunting for insurgents.
But the Taliban
ran away fled rather than fight, leaving booby traps behind.
The Grenadiers left the way clear for dozens of local Afghan National Army and police to flood in and begin the process of bringing security to the district.
|We already know how it ends when they don't run away. So do they, for all their bluster.|
Major Jim Green, one of the Grenadier officers who planned the shaping operation, told The Sun: "This phase was all about putting the insurgents on the back foot. The lads down there have done some incredible things. This has been a great success. It was an operation to free the local people from the Taliban's grip."
Meticulous planning stretching back weeks would have gone into the SAS raids which struck the first blow against the Taliban - and put fear in their hearts.
Patrols of around four men would have used the tried and tested "find, fix, strike" method to locate and destroy their prey. Their tactics are veiled in secrecy. But they would have moved by night, covering their tracks as they went. Then they would strike with lethal force before vanishing to seek new targets.
The full allied assault, labelled Operation Moshtarak, will involve up to 15,000 troops - at least 4,000 of them British.
Moshtarak means together in the Dari language, I have discovered.
Fighting in the Taliban- controlled Nad e-Ali area of Helmand is expected to be ferocious.
Snipers. Lots of snipers given the upcoming human shield tactics.
Insurgents have even hung from trees blood-stained uniforms discarded by British troops as a taunting warning.
I feel it will have the opposite effect from what they were hoping.
Major Green said the presence of British troops alongside Afghan National Army soldiers in operations so far was welcomed by people living in the insurgent stronghold.
|Why would the British troops discard their uniforms? Is it possible the insurgents were mistaken as to their provenance? I mean, if they weren't British uniforms -- the rebels in Sri Lanka aren't using theirs anymore...|
Armed this time, that is.
And when the big assault gets under way, a similar tactic will be used, with Our Boys and Afghan forces going in side by side.
This is the first time Afghan troops have been engaged with the international force on such a scale.
Watch and learn how insurgents die and their friends don't really come back to haunt you if you act en-masse.
Commanders hope it will help reassure locals in Taliban hotspots that their ordeal is almost over.
No more Taliban courts, kid BBQs, acid baths, or stoning events. That's a good thing.
The build-up to Operation Moshtarak continued at Britain's Camp Bastion HQ yesterday. So many helicopters and transport planes are now using the air base there that it is officially busier than Essex's Stansted Airport, an RAF officer revealed.
Squadron Leader John Parfitt is Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at the base.
And when the generals give the order for the big push to start, he and his colleagues will co-ordinate helicopter movements in and out of Camp Bastion.
He said: "We currently have more than 550 movements a day. And during the op we will see a surge in movements. It will be the busiest day of our careers."
He described the mood as "businesslike but confident".
The Taliban's leader in Pakistan did die of wounds received in a US missile attack on his stronghold in Waziristan last month, Interior Minister Rehman Mali said yesterday.
It's going to be a while before I get tired of hearing that.
Ruthless Hakimullah Mehsud, 28, was behind bomb attacks that have killed more than 600 people.
Afghans can breathe a sigh of relief now that this public enemy has died.
The blog at this link seems to express concern about excessive "friendly fire" casualties the Brits are suffering from US forces. Any comments out there on this?
Posted by: gorb 2010-02-11