Airstrike stops enemy attack in Helmand Province
December 29, 2010
WASHINGTON (Dec. 29, 2010) -- An International Security Assistance Force patrol that came under small-arms fire today in the Nad'Ali district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, called in an airstrike that killed one insurgent and derailed the enemy attack, military officials reported.
Afterward, the ISAF patrol moved towards the enemy position and came across an Afghan civilian who claimed that insurgents had shot his daughter, who later died.
Also today, Afghan and ISAF troops discovered several caches in eastern and southern Afghanistan.
In Uruzgan and Kabul Provinces, Afghan and ISAF patrols found four weapons and improvised explosive device component caches in Tarin Kot, Musahi and Kabul districts during separate clearing operations. The caches consisted of eight Rocket-Propelled Grenades, 13 mines, 30 fuses, 770 7.62 mm rounds, nine 82 mm mortar rounds, five gallons of liquid explosive, one recoil-less rifle round, one machine-gun and several improvised explosive device-making components.
In Paktiya province, an Afghan civilian tip led a combined patrol to a weapons cache in Jaji district. The cache consisted of two IEDs made of anti-tank rounds, nine rockets, three heavy machine-gun barrels and several electrical IED-making components.
In Afghanistan operations yesterday:
-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspects, including a senior Taliban leader who is a key link between two of Kandahar province's district cells. The senior leader, operating out of Kandahar province's Panjwa'i District, shares multiple associates within various Taliban cells. He is responsible for distributing supplies, kidnappings, the coordinating and planning of attacks, as well as instructing associates on improvised explosive device construction.
The targeted individual is associated with both the Zharay-based suicide vehicle-borne IED network and the Kandahar City IED facilitation network. Forces followed leads to a series of buildings in the Kandahar district. The joint forces questioned the occupants at the location and conducted a search where they discovered multiple mortar shells. The shells were destroyed on site to ensure the safety of local Afghans. The suspects were detained based on initial questioning and evidence at the scene.
The joint security team conducted the operations in the hours of darkness to minimize the risk to local citizens. No women or children were injured or detained during this operation. The security forces conducted the operation without firing their weapons.
-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban facilitator and several suspects during a joint security operation in Kandahar Province. Forces continued efforts to deny sanctuary to terrorists as they successfully conducted the operation, targeting the facilitator who operates out of Kandahar City. The targeted individual is an intelligence operative responsible for providing direction in the form of site selection and target sets for the suicide bombers who reportedly came into the city from Chaman, Pakistan. The facilitator additionally provides support to Taliban operations including recruitment and improvised explosive device facilitation. He is closely associated with senior facilitators and has connections within the Dand and Panjwa'i Districts' Taliban networks.
Forces followed leads to a series of buildings in the Kandahar district. The joint forces questioned the occupants at the location and conducted a search where they discovered multiple assault weapons and ammunition. The suspects were detained based on initial questioning. The joint security team conducted the operation in the hours of darkness to minimize the risk to local citizens. No women or children were injured or detained during this operation. The security forces conducted the operation without firing their weapons.
-- Afghan and coalition forces detained a Taliban leader during a joint security operation in Nimroz province yesterday. Forces conducted the operation in search of the now-detained man who leads a Taliban cell in the Khash Rod District. The captured leader recently coordinated the acquisition of mines and rockets for use against coalition forces. He authorized the employment of the weapons once they were acquired. He also has knowledge and involvement in the movement of suicide bombers into the area. The suicide bombers, according to intelligence reports, are intended to be a Taliban tool used to inhibit coalition forces' freedom of movement.
Forces followed leads to a series of buildings where the joint forces questioned the occupants at the location and conducted a search. The security team discovered an AK-47 assault rifle, a chest rack and multiple magazines at the site. The suspect was detained based on initial questioning. The joint security team conducted the operation in the hours of darkness to minimize the risk to local citizens. This operation is one of many in which Afghan and coalition forces continue to apply pressure and deny sanctuary to terrorists. The security forces conducted the operation without firing their weapons.
-- Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike targeting a group of armed insurgents in Pachir wa Agam District in Nangarhar Province, killing several insurgents. It is believed that there was a senior leader in the group responsible for planning and conducting attacks against Afghan and coalition elements. Recent reporting indicates the group was coordinating the use of suicide bombers within the district and may have been planning an attack at an Afghan border checkpoint. Following intelligence tips, the precision air strike was conducted after ensuring no civilians were present. A follow-on force conducted a ground assessment verifying the insurgents were killed. The force found multiple AK-47s, chest racks, rocket propelled grenade rounds and grenades. The International Security Assistance Force is gathering information to confirm if the senior leader was the one of the insurgents killed in the strike.
-- More than 15 insurgents were killed by Afghan and ISAF troops during separate operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan.
In Nahr-e Saraj District, Helmand Province, a combined Afghan police and ISAF patrol was engaged by insurgents with small-arms fire. After gaining positive identification, the combined forces returned fire, killing one insurgent. In the same province, a coalition patrol was engaged by insurgents in Kajaki District. After gaining positive identification, coalition forces engaged the enemy position with mortar fire, killing several insurgents.
An ISAF forward operating base declared an imminent threat when numerous insurgents were reinforcing an enemy position in Tagab District, Kapisa Province. Coalition forces called for air support and the air weapons team on scene engaged the enemy position, killing more than 10 insurgents.
Afghan security forces and ISAF troops discovered several caches in eastern and southern Afghanistan.
In Uruzgan and Helmand Provinces, Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF patrols found three weapons and improvised explosive device component caches in Tarin Kot and Sangin Districts during separate clearing operations. The caches consisted of five Rocket-Propelled Grenades, two RPG boosters, three RPG warheads, one hand grenade, one smoke grenade and one heavy machine-gun. The caches also contained several IED-making components, such as 14 pressure plates, one large anti-vehicle pressure plate, 400 pounds of ammonium nitrate, detonation cord and six blasting caps.
In Shaybar district, Bamyan Province, an Afghan civilian tip led a separate ISAF patrol force to another weapons cache consisting of 16 107 mm rockets, 77 82 mm mortar rounds and six 75 mm recoilless rifle rounds.
In Kandahar province, a combined patrol found a large weapons cache in Arghandab Province. The cache consisted of four anti-personnel mines, explosives, three recoil-less rifle rounds, two RGPs, 680 7.62 mm rounds, 50 feet of detonation cord, 12 blasting caps, 10 pressure plates, 40 firing pins and several radio and electrical components.
Initial reports indicate no civilians were injured and no damage was reported during the weapons clearing operations. The weapons from all provinces were confiscated and will be destroyed.
"We want to thank Afghan civilians who cooperate with Afghan and ISAF forces to provide tips that lead us to safely remove these lethal devices," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Patrick Hynes, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director.