Up to 30,000 US soldiers will join NATO forces in the restive south of Afghanistan in the spring, where coalition troops have been stretched by growing Taliban resistance. Building work to accommodate them has already begun at Kandahar military HQ.
REUTERS - Construction work has begun to accommodate an influx of U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan, where NATO-led forces are facing the toughest fight against the Taliban, an alliance commander said on Sunday.
Up to 30,000 extra U.S. troops have been earmarked for Afghanistan starting in the spring and the commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, Major General Mart de Kruif, said his region was most in need of new fighters.
"It would surprise me if the bulk of the forces wouldn't go to RC-South ... the military main effort throughout all of Afghanistan is in the south ... it is in Helmand and Kandahar," De Kruif, who leads 18,000 mainly British, Dutch and Canadian soldiers told reporters at Kandahar airfield.
The Dutch general said building work to accommodate the extra forces has begun at Kandahar airfield, regional command headquarters of the military operations in southern Afghanistan, and at camp Bastion in Helmand, where mainly British troops are deployed.
Kandahar city was the seat of the Taliban before they were toppled by U.S. and Afghan forces in 2001 and, along with neighbouring Helmand, is considered among the most dangerous provinces in Afghanistan.
"We have already started (building)... Depending on where the troops will go, we will definitely see more movement here in Kandahar airport," De Kruif said.
"There's no doubt in my mind ... that where you see the U.S. forces come there you will see a lot of infrastructure in a very short period of time," he added.
Date created : 2008-12-29