Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched a huge ground and air operation in Nangarhar province's Shirzad, Khogiani and Hesarak districts.
Provincial Governor of Nangarhar province, Saleem Khan Kunduzi, told Sada-e-Azadi that the operation ‘Ospaneez-Musalas’ (Iron-Triangle) was launched to destroy all enemies of Afghanistan and improve governance and security in the districts. "Insurgents and the enemies of our nation have only one aim: preventing better lives for our people. Our people in Shirzad, Hesarak and Khogiani should have access to good healthcare facilities, schools, economic opportunities and development projects facilitated by effective governance," he said. "People should be able to perform their daily duties without fear." The Governor continued. "This military operation was planned to allow access to these benefits once the insurgents are cleared from the area." He also explained large-scale development projects are scheduled for this area. "A highway passes through these important districts and once security is improved, road construction projects will be initiated."
Governor Kunduzi said months of careful planning and meetings with local people gave this military operation a distinctive advantage. "We have held multiple meetings with tribal elders and influential local leaders in the affected districts as well as at the governor's office. They fully reassured us of their support for the ANDSF and pledged their help to prevent the return of armed militants to Shirzad, Khogiani and Hesarak districts."
Currently, three Afghan National Army (ANA) Corps, the Afghan National Police (ANP), the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP), the Afghan Border Police (ABP), the Commandos and the Afghan Air Force (AFF) are all participating in this operation.
Khogyani and other districts’ tribal elders, religious clerics and locals attended a gathering with the ANDSF members to express their commitment and cooperation with the ANDSF in the ongoing Iron-Triangle operations.
In the gathering General Mohammad Zaman Waziri, 201 Selab Corps Commander stated that ensuring security permanently is impossible without the full support of the local people. “It is not only the job of security forces to ensure security and defend this country,” he said. “It is responsibility of every son and daughter of Afghanistan to defend their homeland.”
Gen. Waziri continued, “Religious and traditional values are most respected for us. We are here to defend our religion and protect our people, but the deceived insurgent have been sent here to kill our innocent children, men and women. They defame Islam and our traditional values by performing inhuman activities.”
201st Selab Corps Spokesperson, Major Mohammad Noman Hatifi, briefed the operation’s success to the gathering. "At least eight militants have been killed and 12 others wounded in the first days of the operations. Several villages have been cleared of militants and more than 20 Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) discovered and defused safely by the ANA engineering teams."
Nangarhar Provincial Council Deputy, Mohammad Nasir Kamawal, praised the ANDSF for launching the operation and called on the residents to take an active role in assisting security efforts in their areas. "There was a genuine need to launch this operation because insurgents have levied many problems upon innocent people in these areas," he said. "However, the people of these districts now understand that if they want to have security and a prosperous life, they should help their security forces."
Khan Mohammad, a religious cleric from Khogiani district, stated that insurgents do not have the courage to face the brave ANDSF. "The militant's activities had blocked the main roads between districts and Jalalabad city. Now, we are optimistic that these areas will be secured after the operations."
The religious cleric has hope for better future. "Our hopes are with the ANDSF because we want to send our children to school, have access to health care facilities and we want to perform our daily work without fear," he said. "We praise the government and the security forces for meeting with the local leadership and carefully planning this operation, and we all anticipate it to be a success."