News: Coalition forces' strike stings Helmand province insurgents
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Elements of the Afghan national police, advised by coalition forces, conducted a combat patrol June 29 to 30, as part of International security assistance force's Operation Ghartse Ghar, to clear the Taliban from both sides of the Helmand River, near the village of Shurakian, Nahr-e Saraj District, Helmand province.
The city, historically an insurgent stronghold, is cut in half by the Helmand River. Coalition teams moved up both sides forming a two-pronged attack to give the enemy less chance of escape.
As the joint ANP and coalition force made its approach to the city, hundreds of civilians were seen moving out of the city.
"I watched hundreds of civilians walk out of the city unopposed," said a coalition forces soldier. "I counted 150 and just quit because the stream wouldn't stop. The civilians know the insurgents commonly use human shields when fighting with coalition forces so it was a wise choice to go."
Coalition forces took up positions overlooking the city and used precision weapons combined with advanced optics to eliminate confirmed targets. The coalition forces concentrated on eliminating confirmed enemies.
"We held back two air strikes because positive identification could not be confirmed," said a coalition forces officer. "Our forces are very proficient at spotting signs of the enemy and ensuring positive identification before eliminating them."
Since Operation Ghartse Ghar started June 28, more than four dozen Taliban have been killed in the clashes.