Monday, December 10, 2007

US, British in Battle with Taliban for Musa Qala

Several Thousand US, British and Coalition forces are currently involved a battle to take the town of Musa Qala back from Taliban Forces.

The British are reporting that three thousand British troops including the British Army's 52 Brigade, the Royal Marines 40th Commando, 2nd Battalion (the Yorkshire Regiment) and 1st Battalion (the Scots Guards), light tanks from the Household Cavalry plus members of the Afghan army attacked from the south of Musa Qala. This attack was a diversionary strike while a division of the 82nd Airborne attacked from the north.

The Taliban are believed to have over 2000 fighters in the town along with Anti-Aircraft guns in the hills around the town. The Taliban have been in the town since February of 2007 and have been preparing for this attack by placing mine fields around the area and creating various other defenses that surround the town.

There are claims that a 12 year-old boy was hung by the Taliban for informing British troops of the location of IED's. The Taliban accused the boy of being a spy for the British.

The Afghan government is reporting the capture of Mullah Rahim Akhund, the Taliban governor for Helmand and Mullah Mateen Akhund, the district governor for Musa Qala. Both were reported to have been captured while fleeing the area.

CENTCOM reports that the battle began on December 7 and will continue for several days.

Reuters is reporting US airstrikes targeting Taliban forces in the Helmand province, which is where the town of Musa Qala is located.

Musa Qala is in an area with mountains to the north and is in the middle of a large poppy growing region. Musa Qala has become the center of drug trafficking in Afghanistan since the Taliban took over the city.

BBC is reporting that heavy rain fell on the battle field overnight and that there has been little movement in the front-lines. The Afghan army is to lead the final assault, but that assault has yet to begin.

The Long War Journal is reporting that the Taliban have conducted ambushes and attacks against Afghan and international forces in Nawzad, Girshk, and the Kajaki Dam regions

Thus far, it is believed that there is ONE NATO Casualty while there are TWELVE TALIBAN that have been capped. There may also be one civilian casualty in this city of 20,000.

The front has now moved to within 1 kilometer of Musa Qala. The British are saying that the Taliban has suffered "big casualties" in the battle and that a "large number" of Taliban were fleeing. The Afghans are saying the defense has "crashed." However, the British are also saying
that this offensive may take several more days.

At 10:00 GMT NATO Troops entered Musa Qala. At this time the Taliban are in full retreat.



Post a Comment

All comments are welcome- However, Anonymous Comments might be subject to deletion.