Monday, June 8, 2009

Wire: 7,000 US Marines Patrolling Southern Afghanistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2009 -- Newswire services reported this morning that some 7,000 of the new U.S. troops ordered to Afghanistan are fanning out across the south this week on a mission to defeat the Taliban insurgency.

The Associated Press reported that the Marines represent the first wave of 21,000 troops ordered to Afghanistan this summer by President Barack Obama. Most of the Marine buildup will occur in Helmand, the world's largest opium poppy-growing region and Afghanistan's most violent province. Helmand borders Pakistan, where the Taliban's top leadership is believed to be based.

"This is where the fight is, in Afghanistan," 1st Sgt. Christopher Watson, who like many here has also served in Iraq, said Monday. "We are here to get the job done."

Some 7,000 Marines from the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are now in the country, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Abe Sipe said. The forces have brought fighter aircraft, transport helicopters, artillery and the infrastructure needed to support what will ultimately be a force of around 11,000, AP noted.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: 7,000 US Marines patrolling southern Afghan desert

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