In a large-scale operation named Zolfiqar, The Afghan National Security and Defence Forces (ANSDF) launched an operation to eradicate of the Taliban from the north of Helmand province.
Helmand Governor’s Spokesman, Omar Zowak, announced on Feb 15th that more than 4000 defence and security forces armed with heavy weapons and supported by the Afghan Air Force embarked on a mission entirely planned and executed by the ANSDF. “The goal of this operation is to provide security for the local people. Our ANSDF will destroy any insurgents’ hideout they find. This operation has been carefully planned and coordinated at all levels of the security forces and the government. Every precaution will be taken to ensure the protection of our people,” Mr. Zowak explained.
Helmand Chief of Police, Brigadier General Nabi Jaan Maullah Khil, said this large-scale clearing operation follows the successful operations launched earlier in the week in the Kopak area of Nad-e-Ali district. “Our ANSDF heroes destroyed and defeated the Taliban and regained total control of the area. The people in Kopak are no longer suffering from the insurgent’s violence. This area is under full control of the government.”
Gen. Maullah Khil said that these operations with the support of the local residents will help remove any remaining Taliban groups from their hiding places. “Our priority is to create a safe and secure area for the people to enjoy their lives.” He added.
Mohammad Nasir, a resident of the Loy Mandah area of Nad-e-Ali district, was thankful of the ANSDF that cleared the area from the Taliban oppression. “We were forced to pay them Zakat and every day they took our food. Our children were deprived of going to school, and their IEDs injured innocent Muslims every day. I heard the news that the ANSDF defeated the Taliban and the area is under the government’s control. Now, I will go home with my family to resume a normal life.”
As the operation Zolfiqar continues to destroy insurgents remaining in the northern districts of Helmand, the Deputy Governor, Mohammad Jan Rasoul Yaar, summarized the ANSDF success in a briefing on Feb 22nd. “So far, our brave ANSDF have killed 140 insurgents, including famous Taliban commanders, such as Tahir Baloch.” Tahir Baloch was a known insurgent leader responsible for terrorism in Marjah, Nawa, and Nad-e-Ali districts.
“The ANSDF continues to move into key districts with no significant insurgent resistance,” Mr. Rasoul Yarr said. “The ANSDF engineering teams are neutralizing the IEDs to provide safe movements for both our forces and the residents. We are taking every precautionary measure to ensure the safety of local citizens while thwarting the enemy’s plan.”
Sangin resident, Ghulam Mohammad, was pleased when the ANSDF operation started because he wanted the Taliban out of his district. “We are thankful for this operation and support the ANSDF to defeat the insurgents. I believe many people are looking forward to returning to their homes and villages once the insurgents are defeated.”
Insurgents in Helmand are quickly learning that people can no longer tolerate their oppressions and destructions. The ANSDF demonstrated a true Afghan spirit winning the full support of the people. And, with well-planned, larger and coordinated operations, they are prepared to lead Afghans into the future.