Al Jazeera: It was called Operation Moshtarak and it was supposed to be the defining moment of the Afghanistan conflict – an all-out assault by coalition forces on the Taliban-held city of Marjah in Helmand province. Long regarded as a “festering sore” by senior NATO officers, Marjah was seen as one of the last insurgent-controlled areas in the south of the country, a haven for several hundred fighters and a centre of poppy cultivation and opium production – a major source of Taliban income – and also for the mass manufacture of roadside bombs. Its anarchy and instability posed a growing threat to the regional capital Lashkar Gah, if not the whole of the country, and the time had come to clear it out, the coalition believed. Click here to read more (external link).
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