10:03 GMT, August 11, 2009 From the 6th to the 8th of August soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) have carried out a large-scale operation in the Alasay valley and Spee valley in the Kapisa Province. Supported by some 300 French soldiers of the French tactical joint services battalion in Kapisa (French: Groupement tactique interarmes, GTIA Kapisa) and allied air assets, the Afghan military has accomplished an operation to gain control of the area and to carry our reconnaissance tasks in the run-up to the presidential elections.
After the deployment of forces in the Alasay valley on the 6th of August, Afghan soldiers have taken the vanguard of the reconnaissance forces, heading towards the Spee valley on the next day. In the course of the operation, a fire fight broke out between the Afghan vanguard and groups of insurgents. The latter also attempted to engage with French forces deployed on the surrounding hills. Allied aircraft – comprising F-15, F-16, Apache and Kiowa combat helicopters as well as Predator UAVs – and French artillery assisted in defeating the attacking insurgents on the hills and in the valley.
Some time before noon, the Afghan and French forces have redeployed in the Alasay valley, where the operation was continued, including several fire fights, until the end of the day. Afterwards, the Franco-Afghan forces retired to three forward operation bases (FOBs) in the Alasay valley where they spent the night.
In the morning of the 8th of August, the French soldiers prepared a support operation for the local population at the Alasay hospital. Simultaneously, the Afghan forces organised a “shura”(consultation) with the elders and chiefs of the valley. The latter reported of significant losses within the insurgents ranks during the fighting of the previous day.
(The official press release of the French Ministry of Defence has been translated by defpro.com)