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Villagers eager for continued Afghan special operations presence

Afghan National Army special forces soldiers interview villagers during a mission in Pashtun Zarghun district, Herat province, Afghanistan, Dec. 19, 2013. ANASF were conducting an operation to developed critical intelligence about the complex logistic networks and illicit trade routes that support the Taliban in the province. (Photo courtesy of Afghan Special Forces)
Afghan National Army special forces soldiers interview villagers during a mission in Pashtun Zarghun district, Herat province, Afghanistan, Dec. 19, 2013. ANASF were conducting an operation to developed critical intelligence about the complex logistic networks and illicit trade routes that support the Taliban in the province. (Photo courtesy of Afghan Special Forces)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan special forces soldiers and commandos of the 9th Special Operations Kandak conducted patrols to disrupt insurgent activity Dec. 19 in Herat province’s Pashtun Zaghun district.

The 9th SOK special operations troops carried out the mission to stop insurgents from using the Khosrow Jan, Chat and Deh Kushk villages as bases for extending their reach across the province.

“The Taliban move weapons, drugs, and explosives through the village and keep all the benefits of [the government] away from the village,” said a Deh Kushk villager.

The commandos searched the villages for weapons caches and gathered information that would help them in their continued fight against insurgents.

“I am happy that the Afghan special forces came to the village to show that they care about our safety and security,” said another villager. “The special forces presence will keep the enemies away from the village and we would like more patrols in our village. We are a peaceful village and do not want to be ruled by [the] Taliban.”

Afghan special forces and commandos held meetings with local leaders from each of the villages during the operations. The kandak’s ability to reach out to and support the local citizens was the main topic of conversation between the village and military leaders.

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