U.S. Marines launch major offensive in Afghanistan
This post is in support of our troops going in harm’s way in Afghanistan right now. They are my heroes, and are on the top of my prayer list as they go forward to try to make a difference.
From the article:
Officials described the offensive — dubbed Khanjar or “Strike of the Sword” — as the largest and fastest-moving of the war’s new phase and the biggest Marine offensive since the one in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. It involves nearly 4,000 newly arrived Marines plus 650 Afghan forces. British forces last week led similar, but smaller, missions to clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar province.
“Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces,” Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said in a statement.
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U.S. Marines launch key operation in Afghanistan
By Peter Graff — Reuter’s UK reporter
SORKHDOZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Thousands of U.S. Marines stormed deep into Taliban territory in an Afghan valley on Thursday, marking the start of a major new effort by the Obama administration to regain the initiative in the war.
The Marines met little resistance on day one of Operation Khanjar, or Strike of the Sword, to seize almost all the lower Helmand River valley, heartland of the Taliban insurgency and the world’s biggest opium poppy producing region.
One U.S. Marine was killed and several others were wounded during the day, the Marines said in a statement, adding that they had not received any confirmed reports of civilian casualties or damage to property.
Other news from Afghanistan:
However the offensive was overshadowed by news of what the military said is the first capture of an American soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan in two to three years.
“A US soldier who has been missing since June 30 from his assigned unit is believed to have been captured by militant forces,” said US military spokeswoman Captain Elizabeth Mathias. “We are using all of our available resources to find him and provide for his safe return.”
A commander of the Taliban’s Haqqani faction, named Bahram, said his militia had captured the soldier in Paktika province, along with three Afghan guards.
He said the soldier had been taken to “a safe place” and demands would likely be made for his release.
“Our leaders have not decided on the fate of this soldier. They will decide on his fate and soon we will present video tapes of the coalition soldier and our demand to media,” he said.
The US military has described the al-Qa’ida-linked Haqqani network as one of the “most lethal Taliban organisations”.
The missing soldier was captured outside his base and was not part of the new US-led operation, in which about 4000 US marines and 650 Afghan troops mobilised yesterday with orders to clear the southern region of militants and restore government services.
The entire news article can be accessed by clicking on the title link above.
All who love America and our troops, please remember these brave men and women who are fighting, pray for the families of the fallen and wounded, and pray that the soldier being held captive, is safely released. We cannot love and support our military enough right now.