NATO Launches New Afghanistan Operation
NATO forces launched a new military operation Wednesday in Afghanistan’s most violent southern province, while the alliance said it was investigating a shipment of weapons intercepted near the border with Iran this month.
About 2,500 Afghan and NATO troops began the operation in the Gereshk region of Helmand province, the site of the fiercest battles this year and the world’s largest opium-producing region. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said the troops would conduct military “security and stabilization” operations in the upper Gereshk Valley, but provided no other details.
Meanwhile, a NATO spokesman said ISAF was investigating the source of a weapons shipment recently intercepted by troops in Farah province near the Iranian border. “Although we know that it came from the geographic area of Iran, there is no definitive indication that it came from the Iranian government. We’re still evaluating what is contained in that shipment,” spokesman Maj. Charles Anthony said.
A Washington Post report Sunday said the shipment seized Sept. 6 was being sent to the Taliban and included armor-piercing bombs similar to those that have been used in roadside bombs against foreign troops in Iraq. NATO previously intercepted two shipments of weapons said to be from Iran in April and May. NATO’s top general in Afghanistan, Gen. Dan McNeill, has said there is no evidence linking the Iranian government to the shipments.
It’s almost inconceivable that bombs are coming in from Iran without the knowledge of the government.