Afghan and Coalition forces launch a multi-brigade operation in Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Paktia and Logar provinces.
Afghan and Coalition forces have gone on the offensive in the southeastern provinces of Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Paktya and Logar provinces. Over seven thousand troops are involved in Operation Mountain Fury, including a sizable contingent of Afghan security forces. “Approximately 4,000 Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Afghan National Border Police, along with approximately 3,000 U.S. Coalition forces in support, are conducting Mountain Fury in east-central Afghanistan,” according to the Combined Forces Command – Afghanistan press release.
Tim Lynch, an owner of Vigilant Strategic Services Afghanistan, a security contracting firm in Afghanistan, sniffed out the beginnings of operation. On September 8th we reported:
There are ANP [police] and ANA [army] checkpoints in every town from Kandahar to Kabul. Remember the bad spot Sharjoy?  There is a fort there now and the whole area has cooled off considerably [note: this was an area considered a “red zone” while I was in country late last spring. Tim and I drove past burnt out police checkpoints in this region in June.] During our run down Wednesday and back up Friday [from Kabul to Kandahar and back] we saw between 10 to 15 military convoys heading south each day. They were mostly ANA in pickups with heavy weapons but we also saw large American and Romanian columns too. KAF [Kandahar Airfield] is a ghost town… The Canadians are doing most of the heavy lifting and they are doing a superb job.
Operation Mountain Fury occurs in conjunction with ongoing Operation Medusa* in Kandahar’s Taliban infested Panjwai district and a lesser publicized Big North Wind in the Korangal Valley in Kunar. Canadian and Coalition forces have killed over 520 Taliban in Panjwai. The unpublicized Australian led Operation Perth in Helmand province led to 150 Taliban deaths.
But the Afghan and Coalition efforts may merely be a holding action. Attempts to stabilize the provinces on the Pakistani border has been a difficult task as Taliban and al Qaeda have used Pakistan’s Baluchistan and North West Frontier Provinces as bases of operations. With the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan and the withdraw of Pakistani government forces from the area, al Qaeda and the Taliban now have full control over Waziristan. The agency is now a safe haven for Taliban to train their forces and sortie into Afghanistan. Pakistan has released over 2,500 Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners, who are now heading into Waziristan. The fighting in Afghanistan will only intensify.
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