17 June 2008

NATO increases support
to Afghan forces in Kandahar

On 17 June, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deployed additional troops in Kandahar City and in the Arghandab area, southern Afghanistan, to further assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

ISAF forces were deployed in response to insurgent claims and public fears of increased violence. The recent Sarposa Prison break also contributed to increase the potential threats level.

The movement of troops has taken place without significant incident so far though forces exchanged fire with insurgents.

On 18 June, the Afghan National Army and ISAF started joint patrol on the western side of the Arghandab River searching for small groups of insurgents. Extreme care has been taken to avoid civilian casualties in this densely populated area as the insurgents have a history of using civilians for their own protection.

ISAF will continue to support the ANSF with joint patrols, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets and checkpoints. “Together we continue to track down escaped prisoners from Sarpoza prison and are capable of dealing with threats posed by these escapees and insurgents”, stated Major General Marc Lessard, NATO Regional Command South (RC-South) Commander.

The ISAF deployment followed a request by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to support resident ANSF within Kandahar City.