OEF Update, Feb. 22, 2010: Operation Moshtarak
Dispatches from the Front:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Feb. 22, 2010 -- Clearance operations continue to make progress and the operation is firmly on track. In Nad-e Ali, the combined force encountered limited small arms engagements throughout the area. On the west side of the city, shuras continue to determine which compounds can be used as patrol bases. Engineers continue upgrading roads in order to enable the effective delivery of stabilization supplies. Patrols in the eastern portion of the operating area continue to enable freedom of movement on local roads.
Cautious optimism is growing in Nad-e Ali as early signs indicate a return to normality. The 2,000 people that have registered for the cash for work program are working on initiatives including bazaar clean-up, canal repairs and community refurbishment projects.
Determined resistance from small pockets of insurgents continues in Marjah. The combined force's main effort continues to be clearing IEDs and bunkers throughout the area. These clearing operations have enabled the opening of several roads in Marjah.
The development situation in Marjah is progressing slowly due to ongoing resistance by the insurgents. There has been an increase in displaced persons with 542 families registering yesterday. The local government has provided assistance and relief to approximately 1,430 people. Out of all those registered, five families have requested shelter since the clearing operation began. RC-S is looking at ways to facilitate the delivery of aid to address UN concerns of a lack of food and water in Marjah. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, Manoeuvre Enhancement Brigade and others are working together to establish how further assistance can be delivered within Marjah.
(From a NATO International Security Assistance Force news release.)