The 215 Maiwand Army Corps in southern Afghanistan is preparing for operations to clear five districts in Helmand province, Afghan National Army officials said.
The districts of Khanashin, Baghran, Musa Qala, Nawzad and Disho, according to the Provincial Council members, have been under the Taliban’s influence for the past five years. The province has a total of 13 districts.
“It (the operation) will kick off in the near future so we can hopefully free all of the districts,” said 215 Maiwand Corps Commander Gen. Zabihullah Mohmand. “Other operations of our forces are underway in various parts of Helmand near the districts which have fallen (to militants).”
Two members of Helmand’s provincial council said the security organizations lack the required personnel for sending them to each and every corner of the province.
“Conducting operations with the available personnel is not possible because the 215 Maiwand Corps has 18,000 service members but it will hardly bring 6,000 of them,” said the head of Helmand’s provincial council, Majid Akhundzada.
“There is a need for 100 troops in every outpost while they can bring up to 10 troops; therefore, this number cannot maintain or retake the check posts,” said Abdul Wali Patial, a civil society activist in the province.
But Gen. Mohmand said the have enough forces for the upcoming operations.
“We have enough personnel and we are not faced with a lack of service members. We have adequate equipment and we are moving forward,” he added.
According to local officials, the routes to the five districts are closed to traffic due to the Taliban presence.