A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), Dawlat Waziri, said on Monday that 19 military operations are currently ongoing in 15 provinces in the country.
Speaking at a press conference, Waziri said that the military operations are being conducted in provinces including Wardak, Helmand, Kunduz, Kandahar and Kunar.
“In the past two months, after we launched Shafaq military operation, hundreds [of insurgents] were killed and security forces seized a large amount of weapons, vehicles and other equipment belonging to insurgents.
Dozens of insurgents’ commanders are among the dead and we are carrying out night raids to clear the insurgents,” Waziri said.
He called on the people to support security forces, especially regarding their night raids, which are proving highly effective. He added that military operations have not yet launched in some parts of the north and also in Helmand.
He said however that the air force and intelligence agencies have improved substantially this past year and that between 150 and 180 air operations are carried out on a daily basis.
In the meantime, Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), on Monday acknowledged the security threats in Helmand are higher than in other provinces.
In response to a question by reporters over the increasing of US troops’ combat role against insurgents, he said that Afghanistan needs the cooperation of foreign troops in combat against al-Qaeda, Haqqani, Taliban and other insurgent groups.
This comes as the Taliban’s insurgency in Helmand is on the rise – but military leadership still appears reluctant to implement an important order issued by President Ashraf Ghani two weeks ago giving a free hand to security forces to fight militants from a harsher standpoint.
Two weeks ago, Ghani said during an address in parliament, that the military leadership must carry out large scale offensives against militants raging war in the province.
However, the order has still not been implemented. The reasons are unclear but this is putting a burden on the shoulders of overstretched Afghan forces, said critics.
Critics also believe the delay in implementing the order is enabling the Taliban to expand its attacks on embattled Afghan security forces who are fighting the Taliban on multiple fronts and in some key districts in the province. This in turn is threatening the security of the provincial capital, Lashkargah city.