20 Jun 2007

PR# 2007-454

Taliban claims of taking district centers proving hollow

KABUL, Afghanistan – ISAF officials challenged today recent Taliban extremist claims of success in taking district centers in southern Afghanistan, countering that such efforts are only enemy attempts to create an impression of strength that is not backed by an ability to control geographical areas.

"The enemy may be controlling the headlines, but they are not controlling strategically significant areas," said Maj. John Thomas, ISAF spokesman.  "We have seen hollow claims of Taliban controlling district centers, but when Afghan and ISAF forces move into those areas, the enemy turn and run."  

The governor of Uruzgan praised ANSF, militia friendly to the local elders, and ISAF forces, for their successful defense of the Chowreh district center when he visited there today for a meeting, or 'shura,' with local leaders. Governor Munib also thanked the central government in Kabul.

Any area the extremists have controlled in Chowreh or Maineshin "has been a few buildings in remote areas, and then only for several hours,"  Thomas said.  Further, claims yesterday of insurgent control of Ghowrak district center "seem to have no basis in fact," he said.

"The enemy, who are unable to win on the battlefield, seem to be trying to influence public perception by trying to pull off symbolic stunts that have no military value," Thomas 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/