Afghan, Coalition forces keeping pressure on insurgents in new year
January 4, 2011
KABUL, Afghanistan (Jan. 3, 2011) -- The holiday season did not slow down coalition and Afghan forces in the battle against the Taliban and this momentum will continue into 2011, confirmed German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, ISAF spokesman, and Dominic Medley, NATO Senior Civilian Representative spokesman, during an operational update today.
The progress made in keeping pressure on insurgents, disrupting their finances, and seizing weapons are encouraging to ISAF and Afghan forces as they prepare for the transition starting in July, said Blotz.
On New Year's Eve, an ISAF patrol seized a large drug cache consisting of 1,360 kilograms of heroin and several hundred pounds of drug-processing equipment in Nangarhar province.
"Denying insurgents the ability to produce and sell narcotics is a vital key in bringing stability to Afghanistan," said Blotz. "By disrupting their finances, their plan to regenerate and regroup over the winter months will be degraded."
Also on the same day in Nangarhar province, patrols found a weapons cache consisting of dozens of mortar rounds, automatic weapons, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
New Year's Day continued with an Afghan National Security and ISAF patrol destroying four Improvised Explosive Devices near a school in Kunduz province before the IEDs were able to hurt any Afghan children.
Not all IEDs were successfully stopped this week.
Fourteen Afghan civilians were murdered and four injured when their minibus struck an IED in Helmand province, Thursday.
"We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the murdered civilians, and we wish for a hasty recovery for all those injured by this attack," said Blotz. "Afghan and coalition forces will work together to bring those responsible to justice and prevent insurgents from hurting innocent civilians."
Constant pressure will continue to be applied to the insurgency as they continue to show no respect for human life, said Blotz.
"We have significantly reversed their momentum in areas like Kabul and Kandahar," stated Blotz. "This progress is still fragile and reversible, and we will seek to solidify and build on this progress in the coming year. Part of this includes maintaining pressure on insurgents throughout the winter months."
The pressure against the insurgency will increase as Afghan forces grow to 300,000 in 2011 and with increased training from coalition forces, according to Medley.
"Coalition and Afghan forces will continue to work together to make Afghans feel safe," said Medley.