Announcement

British and Afghan forces drive Taliban out of Helmand village

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Residents of the area - known to British forces as the ‘Red Wedge’ - are seeing stability return and their lives getting back to normal following…

Residents of the area - known to British forces as the ‘Red Wedge’ - are seeing stability return and their lives getting back to normal following the operation, which involved a total force of 400.

Three hundred soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R IRISH), working with 100 Afghan National Army troops, stormed the Taliban-occupied zone, with D Company, 1 R IRISH, launching an air assault and the rest of the troops then following on foot and in vehicles.

The speed of the operation, and the total secrecy under which it was planned, caught the insurgents completely unaware and they were only able to mount limited resistance before being defeated.

A total of 11 insurgents were killed in the battle, with many more wounded or taken prisoner.

Immediately following the assault, in a strong sign of intent and long-term progress, work began on a new Afghan National Police checkpoint, known as Check Point Tor Jan, which was built in record time.

Following this more than 180 local residents and village elders turned up to the ‘shura’, the biggest public gathering in years, to meet Nad ‘Ali District Governor Habibullah Shamalani and the Commanding Officer of 1 R IRISH, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Weir.

Organised by the District Governor, this was the first time he had been able to hold an outreach event since the Taliban occupation of the area.

Habibullah Shamalani said:

Thanks to the security that has been brought about by the work of the Afghan forces and the Royal Irish Regiment, the people now have the opportunity to reject the insurgency in this area. The government are now here and will listen and address the problems of the people.

Lt Col Weir added:

In response to a request from the District Governor, we and the Afghan National Army have cleared the insurgents from this area. The real work starts now though, and that is to hold and build here to make life better for the local residents.