Afghanistan: March 17, 2002

Archives

US military planners believed they had wiped out the core of al-Qaeda's military leadership during Operation Anaconda. Cracking open the caves on the Shah-I-Khot's "Whale" ridge resulted in a minor windfall of information.

After the combined Canadian-American battalion was landed on 13 March, they watched Al-Qaeda positions being bombed overnight before working their way up the slopes. The 3PCLI reconnaissance platoon led by CPT Ryan discovered the cave-and-bunker complex on 14 March. CPT Latinovich drew up the attack plan and laid it out for attached 10th Mountain officers. The Canadians then led the Americans across the bomb-shattered "Whale" to a point on the ridge 200 meters across from a rock feature where one bunker could be seen facing off to their left flank. US and Canadian forces were trying to seal a cave entrance when the three al-Qa'ida fighters emerged from another entrance and opened fire on the troops. The Canadians returned fire and killed the three. One had his head blown off.

Canadians and US troops then commenced searches that yielded ammunition caches, mortars and rockets, food, clothing and numerous sensitive documents in French and Arabic. Reconnaissance platoon SGT Torry White said "I think it went unexpectedly smooth".

Ten caves - some booby-trapped - had been searched by the 15th as part of Operation Harpoon. Terror manuals and bodies were found in some. DNA tests were being conducted on the terrorists' bodies, to determine if any senior leaders had been killed during the fighting. - Adam Geibel

 

Article Archive

Afghanistan: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close