Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nato chief hails Afghan offensive

UK Press Association

British troops engaged in a massive offensive in southern Afghanistan have now secured about three-quarters of the former Taliban stronghold, a top commander has said.

Soldiers from the Grenadier Guards Battle Group have enabled the Afghan government to extend its reach in Nad-e-Ali in Helmand Province.

Major General Nick Carter, the British commander of Nato forces in southern Afghanistan, said only about two-thirds of the area was under the government's authority before Operation Moshtarak began on Saturday.

He also hailed the major airlift involving 60 helicopters that started the offensive as "one of the most impressive pieces of aviation planning and execution" ever mounted.

"The fact that there was not a single accident, the fact that none of the helicopters was damaged or anybody getting out of them was particularly damaged, was I think a remarkable achievement, and something I hope historians will write up in due course," he said.

Speaking from Afghanistan via video link, Maj Gen Carter also revealed that a Nato rocket strike that killed 12 Afghan civilians hit the correct target.

He told a briefing at the Ministry of Defence in London: "We know now that the missile arrived at the target that it was supposed to arrive at. It wasn't a rogue missile, there wasn't a technical fault in it."

Earlier, a teenage British soldier killed in Afghanistan was remembered as "an English fighter extraordinaire".

Kingsman Sean Dawson, 19, from 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died in a firefight with suspected insurgents in the Musa Qala area of Helmand Province on Sunday evening. His father said his death would leave a hole in the lives of everyone who knew him.

A total of 261 British service personnel have now died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001.


  1. "the fact that none of the helicopters was damaged or "anybody getting out of them was particularly damaged" - what on earth does that mean ?

  2. Now I read everywhere "bogged down," "slowed down" etc.

    Who set up such wrong expectations?
    Is the offensive expected to be over in a blink of an eye? In 24 hrs? In 2 weeks? In 2 months?

    Time could be on anyone's side. Then, why not on your side? Why do you let Taleban claim Time on their side?