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FIERCE FIGHTING IN OPERATION TOR SHEZADA

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USA and Afghan soldiers have launched, since Tuesday 07/27/2010 night, a series of raids against the Taliban in the Arghandab Valley in southeastern Afghanistan. But attempts to defeat the Taliban have not yet been successful.

USA Special Forces have also set up local defense forces in Arghandab, where armed villagers are trained and mentored to protect their own villages although it is not clear whether the local Pashtu tribesmen really need protection from the Taliban. USA commanders on the ground say it deters the flow of insurgents into their areas.  .

In southern Afghanistan, the focus of the USA war effort, nearly all the Afghan soldiers are foreigners, too. Few even speak the local language. Despite ethnic quotas and recruiting drives, the Afghan army is still dominated by northern minorities who were oppressed by the Taliban (see also – Petraeus Mission).

Nearly all Taliban are ethnic Pashtus, the country’s biggest ethnic group. Although many Pashtus are not connected to the Taliban at all, the rift between the northerners and the southern Pashtus runs deep.

Parallels, on Friday 07/30/2010 dawn, U.K troops launched Operation Tor Shezada, led by 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, partnering Afghan forces from 3rd Brigade, 215 Corps, to clear insurgents from Sayedebad to the south of Nad-e Ali (see – Marjah 02.14.10).

The operation is intended to push insurgent fighters further from the population centers cleared as part of Moshtarak-Operation earlier this year.

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