Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

FOCUS

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

Read more

Afghan, NATO troops 'clean-up' in Arghandab

Latest update : 2008-06-19

US Ambassador to Afghanistan William Wood said Arghandab will not fall to the Taliban because the latter lack support from the region, where Afghan and NATO troops embarked in a "clean-up" operation on Wednesday. (C. Billet).


The Taliban can "raise a lot of dust" but Arghandab will not fall to them because they cannot hold ground for lack of Afghan popular support, the US ambassador to Kabul predicted here Wednesday.
  
"We're coming off of two difficult events in Kandahar province -- the break-in to the prison and the Arghandab fighting," Ambassador William Wood told reporters during a visit to Washington.
  
"I would like to point out that six months ago, there was also fighting in Arghandab and there was lots of headlines then that said Arghandab is about to fall, and that wasn't right then and it's not going to be right now," he said.
  
Afghan and NATO troops backed by helicopter gunships killed 35 Taliban rebels Wednesday in a huge "clean-up" operation to drive out militants entrenched in villages near Kandahar.
  
Two Afghan soldiers also died in the offensive in southern Arghandab district, which was launched after a burst of insurgent activity including a mass rebel jailbreak in Kandahar that embarrassed President Hamid Karzai.
  
"The Taliban can raise a lot of dust at any given moment and a given point.  They can't stay. They don't have the loyalty of the people," Wood told reporters.
  
"They've lost leaders, they've lost fighters, they've lost territorial dominance, they lost Sayghan and Musa Qala districts last year," he said.
  
"And we are getting reliable reports of some divisions inside of the Taliban and some dissatisfaction among the rank and file of the Taliban with their focus on terrorism against innocent civilians," he added.
  
"This doesn't mean that the fight is won, by any means," he said.
  
But he believed the United States, the international community and the government of Afghanistan are "much more confident as we approach the midpoint of the 2008 fighting season than we felt before 2007 fighting season began."
  

Date created : 2008-06-19

COMMENT(S)