(Source: UK Ministry of Defence)
12:00 AM, December 5, 2008
Royal Marines have pushed deeper into southern Afghanistan's rural Kandahar province with a helicopter assault directly onto insurgent positions, supporting a wider Canadian initiative to redraw the boundaries of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) influence in the region.>> Instead of employing conventional tactics of moving in from secured flank areas, Operation Janubi Tapu (Southern Vulture) has seen the Royal Marines of 42 Commando Group inserted by a number of helicopter waves straight into an area that has been regarded by the insurgents as a safe haven.>> Once landed, the Marines used intelligence leads to immediately focus their attention on compounds of interest within the rural conurbations and moved sensitively amongst the local population, searching for insurgent weapons and improvised explosive device-making equipment.>> After some rapid engagements with insurgents, the Marines established a dominating presence and blocked further insurgent movement enabling them to carry on conducting searches. This resulted in finding a vast amount of bomb-making material and weaponry, which subsequently led to a huge degree of exploitable information and intelligence on the insurgents' capability across the whole of southern Afghanistan, not just Kandahar province.>> Over 600kg of home-made explosives and 3.8km of wire used for improvised explosive device initiation was seized, along with numerous mines, small arms and ammunition, all of which has now been removed from the area or destroyed.>> Throughout the operation the commandos kept the upper hand through rapid helicopter manoeuvre and night infiltration.