Last night, ISAF noted that the Taliban was training “foreign fighters” at camps in the Sayyad Valley district in the northern province of Sar-i-Pul. In the same press release, ISAF also noted that special operations forces targeted a Taliban commander in Zabul who is linked to “insurgent foreign fighter training camps.”
In Qalat District, Zabul province, yesterday, Afghan and coalition forces targeted a Taliban facilitator and detained several suspected insurgents during security operations.
The facilitator is responsible for the movement, distribution, and emplacement of IEDs along Highway 1 in Qalat District, and is directly associated with other Taliban leaders who have ties to insurgent foreign fighter training camps, where they train new recruits. He also provides financial and logistical support to the insurgent organization and is also involved in the transportation of heavy weapons systems.
ISAF uses the term “foreign fighters” to describe members of al Qaeda and allied terror groups operating in Afghanistan. And while all “foreign fighters” are not necessarily used by al Qaeda to carry out operations against the West (some just serve as foot soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan), members of this pool are often recruited to carry out operations in their home countries.
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Our Predators seem to do a pretty good job of hitting training camps. I read LWJ everyday but I don’t think I’ve seen any stories about Predator strikes in Afghanistan. Sorry for my ignorance but do any of you guys know why that might be?
Thanks Bill, Paul erroneously asserted that all the training camps were destroyed but that is just NOT the case.
@Steve: Because we use fewer “precision air strikes” as ISAF calls them. When we do these “precision strikes” they maybe drones (Predator or Reaper) or they may be piloted fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft): ISAF never distinguished between them. ISAF and the US also have the (preferred) option of using SF raids to capture or kill (and recover intel from) the targets of those raids.
KP is correct, and I will add the following:
Predators, Reapers, etc. are merely a weapons system, what difference does it make if you use a Predator operated from the US, or an F16 dropping a bomb from 30,000 feet, or a HIMARS launched from miles away, or or a sniper rifle from 1,000 yards, or… if you’re not using a knife or your bare hands, it is all remote killing – pulling a trigger and launching some form of projectile. The only difference is the range.
What makes the Predator strikes in Pakistan compelling is we are fighting a covert war inside the borders of our “ally” Pakistan, which denounces the program while supporting it privately.
Predators/Reapers are used to prevent a US pilot from falling into enemy hands.
Pashtuns refer to any fighters not from their area as ‘foreign fighters’. So an insurgent from Dand fighting in Zhari is a foreign fighter. That is their mentality and it can be skillfully used against them.