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Shahanshah Aryameher


Iranian Freedom Fighters UNITE

Monday, November 12, 2007

Latest News : British forces to capitalise on Taliban 'split' By Tom Coghlan in Sangin, Helmand province

Progress in Northern, Western Baghdad 'Remarkable'
WASHINGTON - The transformation of the northern and western outskirts of Baghdad "has been nothing short of remarkable," the commander of 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team operating there said today.Nov 13, 2007,
Concerned Local Citizen Groups Aid Progress in Iraq
WASHINGTON - Captures of al Qaeda operatives and seizures of weapons caches in Iraq are up, and casualties are down, a senior military official in Baghdad told online journalists and "bloggers" today.Nov 13, 2007,
Coalition Troops Kill Terrorist, Detain 14 in Iraq
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces killed one insurgent and detained 14 others today during a series of operations across central and northern Iraq, military officials said.Nov 13, 2007, Coalition, Afghan Forces Kill Enemy Fighters
WASHINGTON - Afghan national security forces and coalition forces engaged and killed a large group of insurgents today near the Deh Rawod district of Afghanistan's Oruzgan province.
Terrorist Facilitators Detained in Zabul Province
WASHINGTON - An Afghan and coalition operation in Afghanistan's Ghazni province yesterday resulted in the detention of five people suspected of being foreign-fighter facilitators.
Coalition Forces Detain Dozens in Iraq Operations
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces detained 16 suspects, including three wanted individuals, during operations today to disrupt al Qaeda in Iraq and foreign terrorist operations in central and northern Iraq.

Frontline: Our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan

British commanders have pushed an armoured column deep into Taliban-held territory in southern Afghanistan, threatening the stronghold of Musa Qala as commanders seek to capitalise on a rift within enemy ranks.

Senior British officers told The Daily Telegraph that the convoy of more than 50 armoured vehicles from the Scots Guards is designed to "disrupt and confuse" the Taliban. The operation in northern Helmand province comes with the Taliban apparently facing internal splits. One of the four senior Taliban commanders in the area, Mullah Abdul Salaam, has been in negotiations with the Afghan government and indicated that he wishes to defect with up to a third of the forces defending Musa Qala.Intelligence reports suggest that the Taliban are anticipating an imminent full-scale assault on the town by British forces, who refused to speculate on whether such an attack is planned.The Daily Telegraph accompanied Bravo Company from 40 Commando of the Royal Marines last week as they initiated the push north, driving across the Helmand river north of Sangin to create a bridgehead for the Scots Guards convoy.The operation, which came under fire from Taliban fighters armed with rockets, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), could not be reported until now because of the sensitivity of the unfolding tactical situation in HelmandUnder salmon pink dawn skies, the Marines began their advance in Viking armoured vehicles by fording the Helmand river.In the fields beyond - an area of rich farmland and numerous compounds where local farmers were busy sowing next year's hugely lucrative opium crop - men in black turbans watched their passage in silent apprehension."Don't expect any smiles up there, there's heavy Taliban influence," said Maj Dan Cheeseman, commander of Bravo Company, in a pre-operation briefing.Two hours after they crossed the river a dull thud announced the arrival of the first Taliban mortar shell as the Marines stopped south of a drab hamlet called Khor Ghak.Engineers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles set about filling an irrigation ditch, knocking down walls and trees and driving a roadway through the edge of the village to clear a route for the Scots Guards to reach the open country beyond. The inhabitants watched with unconcealed dismay."If you come here, then the Taliban will also come here and we will suffer," said Haji Allah Jan, the elderly headman of the village, whose white beard and turban were offset with a pair of antiquated red spectacles missing one lens."We will pay compensation for any damage we cause," Maj Cheeseman told him. "Can my Engineers build anything you might need, a well perhaps?""No," replied the headman gloomily. He assessed that the damage would cost $20,000 to fix, a figure the British forces' interpreters suggested was vastly exaggerated. The village later accepted $550.From old Soviet-built trench positions in the hills above, Marines traded fire with Taliban fighters to the north, who fired mortar, 107mm rockets and RPGs.Accurate Taliban fire later in the day forced the convoy to delay pushing northwards till the following morning and left the Marines facing a freezing night in the open.American jets flew repeated low level passes during the hours of darkness to dissuade the Taliban from a night attack.According to Afghan intelligence sources, the Taliban mortar units are receiving instruction from Iranian instructors in Musa Qala.One round narrowly missed a weapons-mounted Land Rover parked just behind the ridge. The Marines responded with heavy machine gun fire and artillery fire missions from British 105mm howitzers firing from several miles to the south.The Marine spotters watched as Taliban fighters initially fled the area under fire but then re-occupied trench positions.Plumes of smoke marked the impact point of shells before an Apache helicopter was guided in to attack with its cannon. It did so with an explosive clatter that echoed across the valley floor.With the Scots Guards pushing forward towards Musa Qala, the Taliban then attempted to draw them southward again by attacking a British forward operating base on the edge of Sangin. Several Marines were injured, two of them seriously, and two Afghan soldiers were killed.Fighting around Sangin has reduced since British forces pushed Taliban fighters north in April and swept the area during the summer. However, British commanders remain wary of a Taliban resurgence.Intelligence officers believe they are seeing a sustained drop in the number of local people willing to fight with the Taliban — it is now the season for the season for the maize harvest and opium poppy planting — but this is being compensated by an increase in foreign fighters, most of them from Pakistan.Musa Qala has become a talisman for the Taliban leadership since the insurgents took it in March. British military officials said another unit was pushing overnight into the area to the west of Musa Qala. Officials declined to identify the unit, which was said to be "company strength", or in excess of 100 men.With the Scots Guards already to the south-east of the town, one senior military source said: "The pressure is mounting around Musa Qala."

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