First stage of operation Moshtarak declared a success

First stage of operation Moshtarak declared a success
# 13 February 2010 23:05 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The first stage of the biggest military offensive ever launched by Nato troops in Afghanistan has been declared a success as thousands of US and British troops seized a string of Taliban strongholds across central Helmand, APA reports citing “Telegraph.co.uk.”

In a series of complex airborne assaults, more than two thousand British and US troops began flooding into Taliban-controlled territory under Operation Moshtarak.

The long-awaited push, involving about 15,000 Nato and Afghan troops, was not without cost. A Grenadier Guard was killed when his Jackal patrol vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Nad-e-Ali area of Helmand. A US Marine died in a separate attack.

Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said: “I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of one of our soldiers, very brave, very courageous, lost in this assault, making the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

The battle for the Taliban heartlands in central Helmand is the first significant test of the strategy proposed by Gen Stanley McChrystal, the American commanding the Afghanistan operation, for achieving success.

The mission is designed to “break the back” of the Taliban in Helmand and commanders warned that casualties could be the highest of any operation in the eight-year war. On the eve of the operation, Lt Col Matt Bazeley, the commanding officer of 28 Engineer Regiment, whose men would be some of the first to land and be charged with clearing routes through minefields, told his soldiers: “We are going into the heart of darkness.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED