19 December, 2006

Operation Baaz Tsuka 4: oust Taliban, deliver assistance.

The Canadian National Post, succinctly sums up the operation's aims as a subtitle to a story headed "Canada's New Afghan Offensive": to oust Taliban, deliver assistance. However,the ISAF is not making predictions about how long the ousting will take. The Edmonton Sun quotes an ISAF spokesman:

[He] would not say when NATO forces will be ready to proceed with the second phase of the operation - asking village elders to nominate trusted civilians to serve in the Afghan National Army and police, to protect their homes and land from the Taliban after NATO has withdrawn troops back to their bases.

"We will be ready when the area is secure to move on to the (recruiting) phase," Marsh said.
As the Sun reports, it has been a remarkably quiet start to the operation, with only sporadic clashes. I presume that is because the Taliban have retreated over the border into western Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the ISAF has issued another terse statement on Operation Baaz Tsuka.
During today’s Operation Baaz Tsuka manoeuvres, Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF forces discovered and destroyed a large enemy weapons cache that included anti-tank mines, 82 mm mortar rounds, rocket propelled grenades and communications equipment.

ISAF and Afghan forces continue to make steady progress as part of the operation. Only sporadic resistance has been encountered so far. The troops will continue manoeuvring through the region in the coming days in order to improve security, which in turn will foster future reconstruction and development efforts.
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