21 June 2008

PR# 2008-276

Regional commander comments on ANA success in Arghandab

KABUL, Afghanistan - Three days ago, Afghan National Army and ISAF troops launched an operation to push Taliban insurgents out of Arghandab district and secure the streets of Kandahar city. Today, the citizens of Kandahar province can return to their normal life.

ANA, along with ISAF, secured the occupied Arghandab homes and villages and cleared the west bank of Arghandab River. It met little resistance, as many insurgents fled the area.

Major General Marc Lessard, ISAF’s regional commander in the area, said the ANA response to Arghandab is an excellent example of its increasing capability.

“The reality is simple: in less than 24 hours notice the ANA moved a battalion of soldiers exactly where it matters, by using their own airplanes ... from a cold start,” he said.

While Taliban extremists will likely continue to oppose efforts to improve the life of the Afghan people, the general said the insurgents cannot win as the ANA gains strength and capacity.

“The insurgents are responsible for the destruction and violence that innocent Afghan citizens have to endure on a daily basis. Their deliberate acts to prevent the rebuilding and development of Afghanistan for its people is intolerable,” 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/