Operation Moshtarak Continues to Force Taliban from Strongholds
Nato and Afghan officials reported that Operation Moshtarak, the largest military coalition attack since the Taliban fell in 2001, has been successful in pushing back Talbian insurgents from areas around Marjah and Nad Ali. Coalition forces led by the British are moving quickly through the Nad Ali area; however, US Marines are haven been slowed in their objectives in the Marjah area due to increased sniper attacks and IED explosions.
Local Afghan residents have been assisting coalition forces to locate explosives left by the Taliban. The cleared areas have been secured and await Afghan police forces to enter to provide continued stability. The protection of local residents has been one of the major concerns of Operation Moshtarak – from both a Nato and Afghan perspective. Unfortunately, however, a rocket fired by coalition forces over the weekend missed its target, hit a different building, and killed 12 Afghan citizens. Nato Commander General Stanley McChrystal said he deeply regretted the loss of life and temporarily suspended the use of all rocket systems. Afghan President Hamid Karzai also ordered an investigation.
At the same conference where General McChrystal and President Karzai made these remarks, Afghan interior minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar urged all remaining Taliban fighters to surrender, stating, “[y]ou cannot win there, the Afghan people are determined to win.” Read more at BBC.