Operation Mountain Lion in Afghanistan

A joint brigade-sized Afghan and U.S. operation in Kunar Province

Kunar Province and the Pech River Valley (in southeastern Kunar). Click to enlarge.

The Taliban has regrouped in Pakistan and stepped up attacks on Coalition forces and civilians alike. The Coalition has been active in stepping up securing, and has now launched Operation Mountain Lion in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Six Taliban have been killed in the fighting so far.

The Department of Defense provides the order of battle, “Soldiers from 3rd Brigade of the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps are fighting alongside servicemembers from the coalition’s Task Force Spartan, made up of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division and 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment Marines from Task Force Lava.” About 2,500 Afghan and U.S. forces are engaged in the fight. the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Air Force are providing air support and UAV intelligence platforms.

In the first weeks of March, Afghan and Coalition forces killed eleven Taliban in the Pech River Valley after taking four casualties in a roadside bombing. At the end of March, the Marines of the 3/1 battled against Taliban fighters while patroling in the Shuryak Valley of Kunar Province, killing twenty of the enemy. Kunar Province and the Pech River Valley lie directly across the border from Damadola, Pakistan, where a U.S. Predator strike killed five senior al Qaeda commanders, including Abu Khattab, al Qaeda’s master bomb maker and head of its chemical weapons program. The main target of the strike was Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s number two in command.

Across the border, the Pakistani military conducts a helicopter strike of its own in the town of Miranshah in North Waziristan. Intelligence states “foreigners” [code for al Qaeda] were included in those killed, and the Pakistanis are searching to see if any high-value targets were among the dead.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • ECH says:

    Al-Qaeda no. 2: We must eliminate Israel
    Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri praised insurgents in Iraq – particularly Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – and called on all Muslims to support them in a video posted Thursday on the internet.
    He called on Muslims to support his “beloved brother” Al-Zarqawi, who heads al-Qaeda in Iraq. “I have lived with him up close, and have seen nothing but good from him,” Al-Zawahri said. Bush, son of Bush, eliminating Israel is the duty of every believer,” Al-Zawahri said.

  • zen_less says:

    Freedom is on the march again!

  • Marlin says:

    Stars and Stripes has interesting article today from Afghanistan about how pursuing the Taliban is more about talking than fighting.
    Five years after the initial American push into Afghanistan, Zabul province remains a critical area for Taliban activity and infiltration from neighboring Pakistan. But many infantry missions in the mountainous area revolve less around firefights than around patient questioning and delicate detective work.
    “It’s way less fire and maneuver than we trained for,”


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