Marine commanders say the area covered by Operation Moshtarak is the largest minefield Nato has ever seen. Today that minefield claimed it’s first victim.
There is breaking news this moment that two Nato troops have died along with one British soldier. One death was due to an IED, and at least one death due to small-arms fire. The Brit has been identified as LanceCpl. Darren Hicks. Hicks was married with a three year old son and a 10-month-old daughter. An Afghan commander said 20 insurgents were killed in the early hours of Moshtarak.
Troops will not hurry through the heavily-mined territory. The Helmand Province Governor, Gulab Mangal, says the Operation may take a month to complete.
Many insurgents are expected to blend in with the citizenry, perhaps conducting their own guerilla warfare against the Nato forces.
More reports are out, of Taliban refusing to let villagers leave before the assault began.
Taliban are preventing people from leaving because they can hide
themselves behind people. The Taliban also know the foreigners will not
attack or not drop bombs. They are also taking food from the people.”
Mangal said: “People were taken as hostages prior to our arrival. In
the areas we now have under control, they are free to come and go.”
Coalition forces have promised 34 local elders that Afghans, only, will search Afghans. Apparently these 34 will do the searching of specific “compounds.” God help our Marines. What if one these elders has a son in the Taliban? My questions go on and on, but I have to believe the finest military on the face of this earth, knows what it is doing.
FOXNews’ Rick Folbaum has just said one American has died in Moshtarak. No other verification available.
3:00 PM CDT: Gregg Jarrett, FOX News has confirmed that an American has died by small-arms fire. In this same report, they are saying 15 Brits were killed. Unconfirmed. Perhaps this is wrong.
Source: Ireland Online
Photo credit: U.S. Marine Sgt. Brian Tuthill