March 21, 2011

Insurgents stand by helpless as troops march into ‘safe haven’

From Helmand Blog - Afghanistan by ukforcesafghanistan -
British soldiers have stamped their authority on an insurgent-occupied area of Helmand’s Nahr-e Saraj district, after defying enemy fighters to launch a confident reconnaissance mission.

Troops from Windsor-based 1st Battalion Irish Guards proved the extent to which they have ground down the insurgency, by marching into the ‘stronghold’ with hardly any resistance, as they checked out a possible site for a new patrol base in the town of Pasab.

Located within the area of responsibility of Forward Operating Base Kharn Nikah, which controls the key routes used by local people to get to Gereshk, Pasab has had no military patrol base of its own. As a result, it became one of the last relative safe havens for insurgents in the wider area.

Responding to calls from Pasab residents for British and Afghan forces based in the area to do more to tackle insurgent activity and safeguard their security, the Irish Guards drew up plans for a new patrol base and organised the reconnaissance mission as a first stage in the process.

The British soldiers entered the town prepared for a forceful response from insurgents desperate to protect their interests. However, only one small burst of fire was seen throughout the entire morning. The troops had moved into position before the sun came up, preventing insurgent forces from getting into fighting positions.

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