America is getting heavily involved in a long war in Afghanistan. Some people even compare it with the war in Vietnam. Today, we learned about the launching of a new operation against al Qaeda militants and Taliban soldiers under the code name “Harpoon." The operation is being carried out by US and Canadian special forces in eastern Afghanistan. As of now, about 500 Rangers are searching the mountainous areas to the south of Gardez. The goal of the operation remains a secret. According to Pentagon’s latest information, about one hundred Taliban soldiers and their allies are still in the area and many militants have escaped to Pakistan’s border, which is situated 50 km from the Arma region in the Shah-e-Kot Mountains.
The very fact that the USA has started a new operation without enjoying its latest victory reveals that the operation was not a success. Even the amount of killed Taliban and al Qaeda militants at the rate of 500-800 people are not optimistic.
The News, a Pakistani newspaper, received a fax from one of the militants’ leaders, Saif ul-Adil, who is taking shelter now in the settlement of Zurmat near Shah-e-Kot. The man, who is said to be bin Laden’s close aide, denies the information about victims. “Only four Taliban fighters and two al Qaeda soldiers were killed.”
High-precision arms and other modern technologies do not work in Afghanistan, but the USA will not admit this fact. Pentagon officials have become more cautious about their statements. Yesterday, a member of the US command, Maj. Bryan Hilferty, stated that Operation Anaconda was about to reach its conclusion. Today, their statements are to the contrary. The main objective of the coalition forces now is to liquidate the hundreds of militants that scattered during the previous Operation Anaconda. The Taliban remain in caves are reluctant to disarm.
According to recent information, additional US forces and allied and Afghani governmental troops are being delivered to the provinces of Paktia, Host, Gazni, and Vardak. The number of rebel militants is about one thousand. It is reported that terrorists are regrouping on Pakistan’s territory. Osama bin Laden is said to be alive. One of the millionaire’s wives said that, before the Tora-Bora operation, her husband gave instructions over the phone for three days, and, after that, he vanished.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/14/38218.html