Special Operations News

Searching for the Taliban in Kandahar

KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition security forces, along with provincial leadership, took to a known insurgent hotspot in Zharay District of Kandahar Province to conduct clearing operations, March 6, in order to deny enemy movement and to interact with the population.

Afghan commandos from 3rd Commando Kandak; Zharay District Chief of Police, Bismullah Jan, along with service members from Special Operations Task Force – South conducted a 24-hour operation that yielded the recovery of 200 pounds of homemade explosives.

“The clearing operation allowed the Zharay District Chief of Police to engage the local population regarding attacks in the area,” said the U.S. Special Forces team leader in charge of the operation. “The villagers showed willingness to work with Afghan and coalition forces, but highlighted the constant Taliban intimidation and coercion in their area, preventing them from actively supporting Afghan and coalition forces.”

The security forces occupied certain compounds during the operation, and the Afghan commandos paid the villagers for letting them stay in the area.

At one compound, an elder Afghan female gathered food for an evening meal for the security forces, and spoke with one of the Special Forces sergeants on the operation.

She said the Taliban come through the area, but do nothing but cause trouble.

“The Taliban don’t bring us anything good,” she said. “We are glad to see you here.”

While inside various compounds throughout the village, insurgents fired five mortar rounds at Afghan and coalition forces, however, the partnered force was unable to identify the origin of the insurgent fighting positions. No shots were fired in return.

Meanwhile, one of the villagers brought his sick child to be seen by a U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper assigned to SOTF-S. The child suffered from a debilitating illness and was unable to be helped at the time, however, the partnered force promised to pass along the man’s information to get help from the nearest Afghan medical facility.

The operation concluded in the evening hours with no civilian casualties.

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