Scots Fight Through ‘Hornets’ Nest’ During Operation ZMARAY SUK II
As dawn broke over the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province, several Chinook HC2 helicopters landed in a small pocket of farmland. More than 60 soldiers from A Company, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) sprinted from the back of the helicopters and moved into defensive positions. There were no insurgents waiting to greet them with gunfire – just a few farmers herding their goats and camels.
The pocket of farmland represented a key intersection for insurgent narcotics facilitation routes. It was also known as a location from which insurgents managed money, logistics and intelligence. This safe haven had never seen coalition or Afghan security forces.
A Company’s mission was to disrupt insurgent activity in the area and to spread the message to locals that the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan planned to take over responsibility for the area. The company aimed to do this by taking over a compound and by holding a shura with local elders. Things did not go exactly as planned.
Within minutes of moving into one of the first compounds, A Company had insurgent mortar shells falling within 100 meters of them.
A sniper in reconnaissance platoon, A Company, 4 SCOTS, who for security reasons is referred to as “Jim,” was one of the first to return fire.
“We started getting [indirect fire] on the high ground, so we decided to back off,” Jim said. “As we were moving through the dead ground, we saw some fighting age males on the roof of a compound. So I stopped, got my optics out and had a look. A guy turned around and he had a long-barreled weapon. I took up a firing position.
To read Jim’s full account on the ISAF in Afghanistan website, click HERE, or on the image above.