18 Feb 2007

PR# 2007-113

ISAF troops clear Taliban extremist stronghold with support from ANA

KABUL, Afghanistan – Yesterday, ISAF and Afghan National Army (ANA) troops conducted a major operation to target a Taliban extremist stronghold in Helmand province.

More than 150 ISAF troops from units within the United Kingdom Task Force (UKTF), supported for the first time ever by Afghan artillery, took part in Operation GLACIER, attacking a major Taliban extremist headquarters and stronghold south of Garmsir in Helmand.

Commander of the operation, Lieutenant Colonel Rob MaGowan, conducted shuras with local elders prior to the operation to assess civilian activity in the area. The Governor of Helmand province, Governor Wafa, was also consulted.

The operation commenced late last night, focusing on three major compounds and carried on through this morning. A significant tunnel complex linking the strongholds was also destroyed. There were no ISAF or ANA casualties.

Lieutenant Colonel Rory Bruce, spokesman for the UKTF, said: “Op GLACIER marks the continuation of our recent operations in and around Garmsir to strike at Taliban extremist targets and command centres.

“With the first use of Afghan artillery, it also marks a significant step towards enabling full combat capability for the ANA and, ultimately, to Afghans being able to provide security for themselves,” he said.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/