Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 19, 2011

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Members of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment prepare for air assault on Musa Qala.

The Battle of Musa Qala was a military action in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, launched by the Afghan National Army and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) against the Taliban on 7 December 2007. After three days of intense fighting, the Taliban retreated into the mountains on 10 December. Musa Qala was officially reported captured on 12 December, with Afghan Army troops pushing into the town centre. Senior ISAF officers, including US general Dan K. McNeill, the overall ISAF commander, agreed to the assault on 17 November 2007. It followed more than nine months of Taliban occupation of the town, the largest the insurgents controlled at the time of the battle. ISAF forces had previously occupied the town, until a controversial withdrawal in late 2006. It was the first battle in the war in Afghanistan in which Afghan army units were the principal fighting force. Statements from the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) emphasised that the operation was Afghan-led, although the ability of Afghan units to function without NATO control was questioned during the battle. Military engagement over Musa Qala is part of a wider conflict between coalition forces and the Taliban in Helmand. Both before and after the battle, related fighting was reported across a larger area, particularly in Sangin district to the south of Musa Qala. (more...)

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