Afghan-led Offensive in Ghazni Targets Taliban Irreconcilables with Airstrikes

[STOCK IMAGE] An Afghanistan National Army soldier takes up a security position while conducting helicopter mount and dismount training as Train, Advise, and Assist Command-South advisers give commands on proper mount and dismount operations in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, July 2, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Antony J. Martinez)
11 Jul 2018

By: U.S. Army Maj. Matt Fontaine, Task Force Southeast Public Affairs

ADVISOR PLATFORM LIGHTNING, Afghanistan – Afghan ground forces, who are engaged in offensive operations across the country targeting Taliban irreconcilables, were supported by a U.S. airstrike that killed eight insurgents and wounded seven others in the Muqer district, Ghazni Province, July 8.

"Removing these insurgents from the fight in Muqer will have a significant impact in Ghazni province,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Johnson, Task Force Southeast commander. "We will continue to increase the military pressure on Taliban irreconcilables and look for opportunities to enable our Afghan partners as they conduct offensive operations in our area of operations.”

While conducting Afghan-led offensive operations, the Afghan National Army’s 203rd "Thunder” Corps notified the Task Force Southeast Joint Operations Center (JOC) that ground forces in Muqer district were taking small-arms fire from insurgents in a nearby tree line.

Within minutes, the Joint Operations Center guided a MQ-1C Gray Eagle to the firefight where it engaged 17 insurgents carrying weapons and a rocket propelled grenade in an open area, killing eight and wounding seven others.

"This group of insurgents had been conducting attacks on Afghan forces throughout the day,” said Maj. Brennan Speakes, Task Force Southeast operations officer. "Removing them will help provide stability to Muqer district and give the Afghan forces more freedom of maneuver as they lead the effort to clear Ghazni.”

Tactical strikes such as these against insurgents help the Afghan National Defense Security Forces maintain an offensive edge and a high-operational tempo, providing security for the people.

Multiple Afghan National Army Corps and Afghan Special Forces resumed Afghan-led offensive operations around the country, June 30, demonstrating the full and extensive capabilities of the Afghan National Defense Forces. It is from this position of strength that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces maintained a unilateral ceasefire for more than two weeks.

Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.  Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.


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