Friday, July 30, 2010

British and Afghan forces launch Operation Tor Shezada (Black Prince) in Central Helmand

British and Afghan troops preparing for the operation

British forces led by 1st Battalion, The Duke Of Lancaster’s Regiment this morning launched an operation to further squeeze insurgents in Central Helmand.

Operation Tor Shezada – Black Prince – has been planned and is being executed by ISAF forces working hand-in-hand with their Afghan counterparts. British troops will partner Afghan forces from 3rd Brigade, 215 Corps to clear insurgents from Sayedebad to the south of Nad-e Ali in Helmand Province, in parallel to similar operations by the United States Marine Corps in Northern Marjah.

Troops talking to local children in Sayedebad.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Lt Col James Carr-Smith, said:

“During the early hours of today, under the cover of darkness, the joint ISAF and Afghan Operation Tor Shezada (Black Prince) launched successfully. The operation is currently ongoing and reports back from the commanders on the ground say it is progressing according to plan.

“Operation Tor Shezada will continue the momentum generated by Operation Moshtarak earlier this year. Its aims are very much supported by local Afghans living in and around the area of Sayedebad. They are keen that insurgents be removed so that they can live, work and travel there safely.

“Our intent is such that this activity will increase the distance between the population and remaining insurgents - it will further dislocate insurgents and deny them a base from which to attack the Nad-e Ali and Marjah areas, making the local population safer and reducing the threat to ISAF and ANSF troops.

“In time, the operation will enable the Afghan Government to begin development projects in the area, including the planned refurbishment of Sayedebad school, health clinic and bazaar.”

The Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Battlegroup, Lieutenant Colonel Frazer Lawrence OBE, said:

“We have scored major successes in the north and centre of the district, driving out the insurgents from the major population areas, and providing security to the Afghan people. Now we need to make sure that security is extended to every resident of Nad-e Ali."

Sayedebad sits between Nad-e Ali and Marjah in central Helmand. The area has a small community of around 6,000 Afghans, mostly from Pashtun Ishaqzai and Hazara backgrounds. The Trikh Zabur canal runs to the south of the area, with a crossing point which allows movement between Nad-e Ali and Marjah. Improved security around this important crossing point will increase freedom of movement for locals.

Although significantly smaller than previous operations in this area, Operation Tor Shezada will push insurgent fighters further from the population centres successfully cleared by previous elements of Operation Moshtarak. It follows the same pattern of shape, clear, hold, build that has characterised the wider operation and shaping operations have been carried out in preparation for it.

The Afghan government will begin stabilisation activities as soon as conditions allow, including the refurbishment of Sayedebad school and health clinic. The British-run Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand will support this activity with projects of its own, including 'cash for work' programmes which employ locals to develop their own communities.


  1. Good luck to the Troops. I hope there are enough troops to hold the ground after the advance has finished. If we cannot hold the ground & keep the locals safe from the taliband, then they will not support us. Politicians take note, the ground has to be kept free of the bad one's. MPs put yourself in the place of an Afghan. We need enough troops to stop the taliband from infiltrating back.

  2. With regards to the 'cleared ground' - perhaps the Afghan Army can start to 'Hold this area' themselves...they have to start sometime....

    I do however agree with you 10.49 pm - Wishing our troops all the luck in the world - Proud of You All.