Dec 4, 2009

New Marine Offensive !!

Dec. 4, 2009

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan –

More than 1,000 International Security Assistance Force personnel partnered with Afghan National Security Forces personnel have begun operations in northern Helmand province to clear insurgent forces from a key area.

More than 150 Afghan soldiers and police and approximately 900 U.S. Marines and sailors from Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan and British forces from Task Force Helmand are participating in Operation Khareh Cobra (Cobra’s Anger) to clear insurgent forces in the Now Zad valley.

Marines from 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7 and 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion are partnered with Afghan Army and police and with Task Force Helmand’s Battle Group (North West) and Brigade Reconnaissance Force. The forces began heliborne and ground insertions into the Now Zad valley early Friday morning to secure key terrain and allow the introduction of follow-on forces.

Now Zad was once Helmand’s second-largest city, but is now empty due to years of fighting. Insurgents have heavily mined the area, and a key purpose of the operation is to provide enough security for the Afghan government and non-governmental organizations to begin clearing the mines and improvised explosive devices in order to enable eventual repopulation of the city.

A company of Marines from 3/4 is stationed in Now Zad, along with 150 Afghan soldiers and police.

MEB-Afghanistan is a subordinate unit of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. The combined U.S. and Afghan mission is to provide security for population centers and connect local citizens with their legitimate government while establishing stable and secure conditions.

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