Troops Still Waiting For Orders To Launch Helmand Operation

Helmand-27-dec-2015

Embattled Afghan security forces in the southern province of Helmand said Sunday they are still waiting for orders from the central government to launch military operations in various parts of the province.

The security forces have warned that more areas in the province could collapse to the Taliban unless a quick and decisive action is taken to eliminate the Taliban.

TOLOnews correspondents Wali Arian and Abdullah Hamim who are embedded with troops in the volatile province report from the battlefield that security forces have raised their concerns about the deteriorating situation and lack of orders.

Forces on the ground have said that the Taliban even poses a threat to Lashkargah – the capital of the province.

“The situation is critical here. Taliban operate in many villages around here. Last night Taliban attacked our base,” an Afghan National Army soldier on the frontline told TOLOnews.

“We are still waiting the order for war – right now there is no problem in terms of military hardware, we have heavy weapons. But we are waiting orders,” another soldier said.

Meanwhile, security forces in Nad-e-Ali district have also said that they too are awaiting orders to launch a decisive operation against Taliban in the area.

“There is three to four kilometer distance to the center of the province and there is no other security belt except this,” an officer of the Afghan border police said.

“So far we have not received the order to launch an operation. The order for an operation is related to the high level officials and does not belong to us; we have to obey orders. We joined the army to serve and defend and move ahead and not slide backwards,” another soldier said.

Helmand province, once a Taliban stronghold in the south, has been under frequent attack by the Taliban over the past fourteen years – reportedly because of it being a good income provider as it is the key poppy growing area in the country.