14 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-389

Successful operation in Maywand disrupts insurgents

KABUL, Afghanistan - A deliberate operation targeting a critical insurgent logistics node successfully ended Aug. 12 in Maywand district, Kandahar province.

The week-and-a-half-long operation, called Operation Roob Unyip Janubi or “Southern Beast” in the native Pashtu language, began Aug. 1 with the movement of more than 1,000 Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) and ISAF soldiers.

These forces disrupted insurgent safe havens and transit routes through the Band-E-Timor region of Maywand district, a key insurgent logistics hub that fed fighters, supplies and money into Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Afghan and international forces also worked to improve security along a key road that traverses the South, and set the conditions for the establishment of an enduring security presence in Maywand.

“We know that given the way we came into Band-E-Timor, we took them by surprise,” said Major Fraser Auld, the Task Force Kandahar plans officer. “Based on finds and some of the site exploitation that went on during the operation, any insurgents in the area that did manage to get out had to do so in a hurry because they left exploitable material behind.”

During the first days of the operation, ANSF and ISAF found and destroyed 60 20-litre ammonium nitrate containers wired for immediate use as IEDs. This represents a find of 960 kilograms of explosives. Sixty kilograms of opium, drug manufacturing equipment and multiple small arms and components of a mortar were also seized.

In addition to putting a dent in the operations of the insurgents by capturing their equipment and their illegal sources of financing, Afghan and international partners also set the security conditions that enabled governance to occur in Maywand.

“The Maywand district leader, Haji Mullah Noor Masoud, was able, for the first time, to go to the Band-E-Timor area and hold a major shura with approximately 75 elders and villagers,” Auld said. “Haji Mullah Noor Masoud listened to the concerns of the people and emphasized that for peace and security to come to the region, the people must deny safe haven to the Taliban.” 

The operation saw no major combat incidents and a reduction in the number of IED incidents on the key road traversing the southern province.

“While we had an average rate of two IEDs or ambush attacks on civilian and military convoys along this route in Maywand in the weeks that preceded the operation, during the operation there were no vehicles — military or civilian — that were targeted on this road.” said Captain Chris Quinlan, a Task Force Kandahar operations officer. “Security was established by the mere presence of ANSF and ISAF forces.”

The insurgents did not fight the multinational force, choosing instead to abandon their known compounds and flee. 

“Perhaps the insurgents did not stay and fight because they believe that the ANSF and ISAF will eventually leave.  If they do, it is a grave misjudgment on their part,” said Brigadier General Denis Thompson, the commander of Task Force Kandahar. “We are committed to working together to provide an enduring security presence in this area. ISAF and Afghan forces are in active dialogue with the key leaders of the district, and together, we are developing a robust plan to provide this lasting security.”

Previously, Maywand had a limited presence from the Afghan government.

“We achieved all our aims during this operation,” Thompson said. “We have set the conditions for the positioning of more ANSF and ISAF forces in Maywand district and have served notice to the insurgents that we will henceforth have an enduring presence in this area that was critical to their operations.”

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/