• Sgt. Nick Andrews, an infantry squad leader with Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, from Marshalltown, Iowa, looks into the valley from a mountaintop outside the village of Nengaresh, Afghanistan, Jan. 21. Soldiers from Co. C, joined Afghan National Army Soldiers from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Corp, on the patrol.

    Looking for enemy in Afghanistan

    Sgt. Nick Andrews, an infantry squad leader with Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, from Marshalltown, Iowa, looks into the valley from a mountaintop outside the village of Nengaresh, Afghanistan, Jan. 21. Soldiers from Co. C, joined...

  • Spc. Michael Scarsbrook, an infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman, looks down on a spot in Tupac, Afghanistan, Jan. 21, where his unit had been attacked by an Improvised Explosive Device two days earlier. TF Ironman is a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls.

    Looking for enemy in Afghanistan

    Spc. Michael Scarsbrook, an infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman, looks down on a spot in Tupac, Afghanistan, Jan. 21, where his unit had been attacked by an Improvised Explosive Device two days...

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 24, 2011 -- Operations by Afghan and coalition forces captured multiple Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders and destroyed numerous weapons caches in the past week, greatly hampering insurgent activities.

The operational tempo for the week was above average, with 143 conventional and special operations carried out in one 24-hour period alone.

The extra effort resulted in more than 90 finds of Improvised Explosive Device components, weapons and drug caches this month, nearly an 800 percent increase in compared to January 2009, said German Army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force.

Locals are aiding security forces in their efforts against insurgents by providing information - an indication civilians are increasingly siding with Afghan and coalition forces over the Taliban.

"There are many locals who are telling combined forces where the caches are because they want the insurgents out of their neighborhoods," explained Blotz.

The success of these operations is halting and reversing insurgent momentum.

"The destruction of these items significantly reduces insurgent capability to finance their planned regeneration and resupply over the winter months," said Blotz.

Combined forces are further disrupting insurgent capability by targeting their leadership.

In the last 30 days, ISAF and Afghan forces have detained more than 100 high-value targets, primarily Taliban and Haqqani mid- to high-level leaders.

Some of the leaders caught or killed in the last week filled major roles in the insurgency, such as Abdul Bari, a Taliban logistics leader.

Bari was killed in a precision air strike in Logar province, Jan. 23.

That same day an operation in Wardak province led to the detention of a Taliban IED manufacturer who was also teaching other insurgents how to construct the devices.

Also, security forces detained a Taliban district leader in Gardez district, Paktiya province, during an operation Jan. 18.

Removing leaders and destroying caches disrupts the insurgents' capability to cause more harm and damage to both combined forces and the Afghan people, said Blotz.

Page last updated Tue January 25th, 2011 at 07:17