USSOF and ANA push insurgents in northern Helmund (w/photos)

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This was just sent to me by our friendly neighborhood Marsoc PAO, many thanks.

USSOF and ANA push insurgents in northern Helmund

GERESHK, AFGHANISTAN (CJSOTF-A Public Affairs, June 25, 2007) – In southeastern Afghanistan, there are three constants: frequent enemy activity, searing heat, and special operations forces hunting the enemies of peace and prosperity.
Special operations Soldiers and Marines and Afghan Security Forces routed a tough group of Taliban insurgents using air strikes, rockets, and an imposing show of force June 23-24 in the area of Washir, Helmund Province, Afghanistan.
“A U.S. and Afghan patrol was ambushed and suffered casualties while conducting a morning patrol in the area,” said an Army special operations officer. “The enemy was bringing more fighters into the town and they were looking for a big fight so the U.S. and Afghan element drew back and called for air strikes and reinforcements.”
Coalition reports estimate as many as ten enemy fighters were killed by a precision air strike. The air support bought time for the U.S. element to call in special operations Soldiers and Marines from the surrounding areas. The hillsides around the town were soon bristling with heavily armed special operations troops.
“Washir is a large town so we couldn’t immediately plug all of the escape routes,” said the special operations officer. As our forces were building up, theirs were filtering out of the city.”
The joint special operations team suspected the enemy could be escaping so they drove to the city entrance to test for reaction. After seeing no sign of the enemy, Afghan National Police searched the village and questioned its inhabitants.
“The enemy was probably overwhelmed when more than 40 gun trucks arrived throughout the day,” said a Marine special operations officer “When we went down to see if there were any Taliban in the town, we only found local residents.”
The special operations troops learned from area residents that the insurgents had made a run to a nearby town and holed up there, hoping the U.S. forces would give up on chasing them.
“We had an idea where they were going so we stopped for the night at a secure high point overlooking the paths they might try to take though the area,” said the Marine special operations officer. “When it started to get light, we came down and visited the town.”
Afghan National Police searched the town and found 10 kilograms of opium and an RPG round. Residents again reported that the insurgents had moved on to the next town.
“Once they retreat, they’ll stay one step ahead,” said the Army special operations officer. “We’ll get them eventually though. The Helmund valley is the home of the Taliban, so many of their best fighters live and die here. It’s only a matter of time before their luck runs out.”

Photo Captions:
250607-A-9834L-001.jpg - MARSOC Marines keep a close watch on distant suspected enemy positions June 23 during a patrol in the northern Helmund province, Afghanistan.

250607-A-9834L-002.jpg - A MARSOC Humvee speeds toward a suspected enemy position during a patrol in the northern Helmund province of Afghanistan June 23.

250607-A-9834L-003.jpg - MARSOC Marines fill a quiet evening with intelligence and local topography during an extended patrol in the northern Helmund province of Afghanistan June 23.

250607-A-9834L-005.jpg - An insurgent vehicle ignites after being rigged for destruction by Afghan Security Forces in the northern Helmund province, Afghanistan, June 24. Inside the vehicle were mortars, mortar tubes, and rocket launchers.

250607-A-9834L-007 - Afghan Security Forces take a break at a strategic location in the northern Helmund province, Afghanistan.


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