The 21st Century Phenomenon




Mussa-Qala is a town of about 55,000 people in the Northern part of Helmand province in the center of Afghanistan. The town is located on the mountain slopes of central Afghanistan towards the plains of Helmand province in the South. Mussa-Qala is also a local center of the Pashtu tribes of South-East Afghanistan which are completely identified with the Taliban.

Mussa-Qala was already held by British troops but they abandoned it in the last winter, like every winter since operation “Absolute Justice” in 12/2001.

After 5 days of Afghan army offensive, supported by one USA Special Forces battalion and UK battalion, the new Afghan army “recaptured”, on 12/10/2007, Musa  Qala. The battle claimed the life of 1 British soldier and about 12 Taliban fighters which suggests that most of the Taliban did not resist the Afghan army but assimilated in the civilian Pashtu population or fled to the mountains and will return when they will have, from their point of view, an opportunity, as they did so many times before. 

The British are planning to set up a small base in Mussa-Qala, but the defense of the town will be led by Afghan forces. Those troops will be the subject of future Taliban attacks when and where the Taliban will decide.

Meanwhile the Taliban already launched counter attacks in three other towns in Helmand.


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