Afghan forces launch winter operations in 12 provinces

Afghan forces have launched winter military operations against the Taliban and other insurgent groups in 12 provinces of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, officials said Friday.

“The winter operations launched on 22 December and it is ongoing in 12 provinces right now,” said Gen. Mohammad Radmanish, deputy spokesman for the Defense Ministry.

The Interior Ministry spokesman, Najib Danish, said the winter operation is a continuation of “Operation Khalid”. He added that these operations are ongoing in northeast and southern Afghanistan at the moment.

Helmand and Badakhshan are among provinces where the level of threats are high and have a complex geography, especially during the winter.

“Considering the threats which exist in Badakhshan districts, the current forces in the province cannot succeed if they are not supported by air forces,” said Faisal Baikzad, the governor of Badakhshan province.

“Our winter plan is to secure the surrounding of Lashkargah City and seize more areas in three districts where the war is going on right now,” said Hayatullah Hayat, the governor of volatile Helmand province in the south.

There are some preparations in the strategic Kunduz province which has fallen briefly to the Taliban in 2015 and 2016.

“We have created reserved forces in the district levels for conducting operations so every district could combat with their own challenges,” said Gen. Abdul Hameed Hameedi, the police chief of Kunduz province.

By Ali Asghari & Hesamuddin Hesam, Ariananews

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