Insurgent activity disrupted in Operation Tufan Alutaka
British troops in Helmand have just completed a three-day operation to disrupt insurgent activity in the Taliban stronghold. It follows several British casualties in the area of Zumbelay, north of Gereshk.
The aim on the first day of Operation Tufan Alutaka was to destroy a bridge used by insurgents to bring weapons into the area. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, who make up the Warthog Group, who provide a cordon of security, supported ground troops. The tracked vehicles are heavily armoured and check for signs of IEDs, as well as acting as a powerful deterrent to insurgents thinking about launching a counter-attack.
Local people spoke to the soldiers during the operation, explaining how they had seen a lot of heavy fighting in the last few years and were worried about the military presence. They also urged that they would want compensation payments if their crops were damaged, the Warthog Commander took the opportunity to reassure them. The only working bridge now is overlooked by an ISAF checkpoint. The Taliban won’t be able to use it to transport weapons, or to evacuate their injured and they will find it harder to get across to intimidate the locals on this side of the canal. This operation has put ISAF troops in more danger but it’s been the best option for keeping the locals onside.
Words and video by Charlotte Cross of BFBS Television