10 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-164

Operation Oqab Magnet

KABUL, Afghanistan – On Thursday, Brigadier General Pierre de Villiers, Regional Command-Capital Commander officially announced the completion of Operation Oqab Magnet March 8, 2007 in Surobi. This operation was conducted with Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, National Directorate of Security and ISAF forces to secure Surobi district to enhance the economic development.  

“The operation, which began March 3, is based on the last RC-Capital operation conducted in December in the Musahi valley, south of Kabul. We have improved the concept by involving the ANSF even more in the different phases of the operation” said de Villiers.

“The name of the operation was no coincidence.  Like a magnet that attracts and repels, the committed forces and the local and governmental representatives have sought to attract the population while repelling those enemies of the government.” said de Villiers.

“The indecisive people seem to have made the right choice. They have joined with those who want to make progress and peace in the region and know that development is impossible without security,” said Lt Col Philippe Bou, spokesman for RC-Capital.  

The ANSF have also played a part in this operation, as Afghan officers were involved in the planning at HQ level and on the ground.  For the first time, they have co-led an ISAF operation from its planning phase to its realization.

“Yes indeed, OQAB MAGNET is our operation. We are very satisfied with the job done on the ground” stated General Esmatullah, Chief of Kabul Police.  He stood with General Amman, Chief of Staff of the ANA 201st Corps in front of the joint checkpoint, the heart of the operation.  “The joint check point provided greater coordination during the operation and a better work capability between all the forces,” Esmatullah said.

“The welcoming of our forces by the population is our greatest victory,” said General de Villiers. “In the end our best weapon is the support of the population.” 

Operation Oqab Magnet has simultaneously delivered security with aid to the population.  The donations have been very carefully chosen to address the basic needs of the poorest, with soldiers and policemen enthusiastically participating in its delivery. The local population has expressed their gratitude to ISAF and the ANSF, Lt Col Bou said.

The next phase of Operation Oqab Magnet will strengthen security and enable the long-term development of the district with the support of non-governmental organizations and the international community.

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/