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Operation Aims to Secure Southern Afghanistan for Elections

Hours into the new Operation Eastern Resolve II in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, defense officials report that U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers are confronting “some resistance” as they work to secure the area for the Aug. 20 elections.

The Marines and Afghan soldiers launched the offensive earlier today in Helmand province’s Now Zad district. Much of the operation is centered on Dahaneh, a Taliban-held southern Afghanistan town, and the surrounding mountains.

The mission was ordered to disrupt insurgent violence and intimidation campaigns and provide freedom of movement for Afghans to vote in upcoming provincial and national elections, military officials at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan reported.

About 100 Afghan National Army soldiers and 400 Marines and sailors from Marine Expeditionary Brigade, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, are conducting the operation. Marines from Marine Aircraft Group 40 provided helicopter lift and other aviation support for the mission.

The operation is proceeding as planned, and forces have confronted some opposition, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters. No casualty information is available, he said. Marine officials later reported that casualties are “very light.”

See also:
Operation Eastern Resolve II Launches
U.S. Marines Fight for Strategic Taliban Stronghold in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province
US to expand operation in Afghanistan
Military Operation Targets Taliban Before Afghan Election
US, Afghan troops launch operation to protect vote
Marines launch new assault in Afghanistan, target Taliban-held town so residents can vote
Helmand province
Camp Leatherneck

Rumor has it that the Taliban was tipped off in advance about the operation, but they’ll die just the same.

/Godspeed Marines, rack up lots of Taliban ass!

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