An large defensive of international forces will soon be launched against the Taliban. A British military spokesman says there has been a "conscious decision" to reveal the plan before the "push" begins.
''And if they choose to fight, as General Nick Carter, the general commanding the operation has said, they will be subjected to overwhelming force and will be defeated.''Brigadier Gen. Larry Nicholson, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Unit says Marja is "the only place left in the Marine" command area. He doesn't like the idea of announcing Operation Moshtarak, however, he says that some of the people of Marja are seeking out the Marines:
Because of the inevitability of the operation, people have decided that they want to talk. There's a lot of influential people, people of import or businessmen. They don't want to be on the wrong side of this thing when it flips," Nicholson said.Nicholson says his troops will "dominate" and "overwhelm" the enemy.
SkyNews reports that the town of Marjah is already engaged in the assault and is the "biggest test...for the Afghan forces." The Brits are moving their command headquarters from Khandahar to Lashkar Gar. Fifteen thousand International troops are involved. Marja is big stakes. It must be taken successfully for Moshtarak to meet its end goal.
The town holds about 80,000 people, of whom up to 2,000 are thought to be Taliban, it is their last urban stronghold and said to contain the Quetta Shura Council and bomb making factories..
To get into the centre the attacking forces will have to traverse open ground, then cross irrigation channels and canals, and then go into the urban areas. The US Marines have brought in their Assault Breaching Vehicles to get through the defences, there is likely to be some sort of air drop. The attacking forces will have full control of the skies using helicopter gunships, fighter jets and unmanned drones. The Taliban will have laid IED's, booby trapped houses and have assault rifles, RPG's and machine guns.The two major target areas for Operation Moshtarak (Together) are located in Central Helmand Province:
The areas will be cleared, military operations will be followed up by what is actually the important bit of this campaign which is the Afghans delivering security for themselves."
The operations you have seen over the last three or four years and the operations you are about to see are about bringing back legitimate Afghan governance to those areas that haven't had it for a while."Moshtarak will be carried out by thousands of US Marine and British assault groups, along with Afghan forces. Canadian soldiers are serving with Afghans, and have already moved to positions in the target zone, under the Operation Mentor program. Canadian helicopters are delivering International Forces to the Defensive area. I'll be keeping these men and their families in my prayers.
Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Angelita Lawrence