Operation Mountain Thrust

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Operation Mountain Thrust
Part of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Datec. May 15, 2006 – July 31, 2006
Result Tactical Coalition Victory;
Strategic Taliban Retreat
Afghanistan Afghan National Army
United Kingdom United Kingdom
United States United States
Canada Canada
Australia Australia
Romania Romania
Netherlands Netherlands
Czech Republic Czech Republic [1][2]
Afghanistan Taliban insurgents
Flag of Jihad.svg al-Qaeda
Commanders and leaders
Canada David Fraser
Afghanistan Rahmatullah Raufi

Afghanistan Akhtar Usmani

Mullah Baqi Kakar

Mullah Mohammad Ibrahim Giwat, allegedly
3,500 (ANA)
3,300 (United Kingdom)
2,300 (United States)
2,200 (Canada)
1,100 (Australia)
120 (Czech Republic)
Total Force: 11,000+
At least 2,000
Casualties and losses
107 KIA , 43 captured (ANA)
6 KIA , 30 WIA (UK)
24 KIA, 50 WIA (U.S.)
4 KIA , 30 WIA (Canada)
11 WIA (Australia)
2 KIA , 1 WIA (France)
1 KIA , 4 WIA (Romania)
155 killed,
106 wounded,
43 captured
1,134 killed,
387 captured

Operation Mountain Thrust was a NATO and Afghan-led operation in the war in Afghanistan, with more than 3,300 British troops, 2,300 U.S., 2,200 Canadian troops, about 3,500 Afghan soldiers and large air support. Its primary objective was to quell the ongoing Taliban insurgency in the south of the country.


There was heavy fighting during June and July 2006, with Afghanistan seeing the bloodiest period since the fall of the Taliban regime. The Taliban showed great coordination in their attacks, even capturing two districts of Helmand province at the end of July, which were retaken a few days later. The Taliban suffered during the fighting more than 1,100 killed and close to 400 captured. Heavy aerial bombing was the main factor. But even so the coalition forces had close to 150 soldiers killed and 40 Afghan policemen captured by the Taliban. Tom Koenigs, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, told the German news weekly Der Spiegel that the Taliban numbers of casualties do not reflect success. "The Taliban fighters reservoir is practically limitless," Koenigs told the magazine in an interview. "The movement will not be overcome by high casualty figures."

In the end, the operation did not manage to quell the Taliban insurgency. Control of the region was transferred from the Americans to NATO forces. Attacks continued and even intensified. On the first day that NATO took control, August 1, a British patrol was hit by enemy fire in Helmand province; three soldiers were killed and one wounded. On the same day 18 Taliban and one policeman were killed in an anti-Taliban coalition operation in the same province and 15 Afghan policemen were captured when they surrendered in Zabul province while a Taliban force was preparing to attack their police post. Also two days later there were several incidents in and around Kandahar, including a suicide bombing which killed 21 civilians. In the other attacks in and around Kandahar, four Canadian soldiers were killed and ten were wounded. These clearly demonstrated that the Taliban forces are still a threat. American forces still remain in the eastern provinces.

Known Encounters[edit]

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