The US military effort in Afghanistan is sending local soldiers to the front line, paid and equipped by the Pentagon.
Fierce battles are raging between anti-Taleban forces and a group of up to 5,000 Taleban and Al-Qaeda fighters who have regrouped near Gardez. New appeals for a jihad against the US forces have seen large numbers of Arab and Chechen militants flocking to Afghanistan in recent weeks.
The US 101st Division is being backed by “rented soldiers”, locals trained and equipped and paid 200 USD per month to fight in the front line. To date, there are 385 members of this special force, backed by 30 US Special Forces members.
The fact that these soldiers use black turbans and cloaks makes them difficult to distinguish from the Taleban, however the US military command has found a way round any possible mistaken identity: they put pieces of fluorescent paper in their turbans so as to be easily recognised by helicopter gunship crews at night
The Taleban and Al-Qaeda forces are putting up a stronger than expected resistance and casualties have been taken by the US forces, although there are conflicting reports as to how many.
The US Air Force is using a new bomb, called a Thermobaric bomb, which explodes more slowly than a conventional weapon and basically sucks the air from the area in which it is dropped, causing death through suffocation. This bomb is being deployed in caves and other spaces where the Taleban and Al-Qaeda are said to be hiding.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru