News / Asia

NATO Forces Repel Taliban Attack on Airbase

Militants set off a car bomb and used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the entrance of an airbase outside Jalalabad, near the Pakistani border Wednesday.

The Taliban say six suicide bombers killed dozens of Afghan and foreign forces in the brazen daylight attack. But NATO spokesman Brigadier General Josef Blotz refutes that claim.

"In this incident several insurgents were killed and I can tell you that the security perimeter was not breached and the insurgents were being stopped by Afghan and ISAF forces very effectively," Blotz said.

The attack appeared planned and coordinated, much like a Taliban assault last May on the Bagram air base, NATO's biggest in Afghanistan.

June has been the bloodiest month of the near nine-year-old war for foreign troops, with over 100 killed. The rising toll comes amid a troop surge for an operation that seeks to take on the Taliban in their heartland.

On Tuesday in Washington, U.S. General David Petraeus warned there are still difficult days ahead.

"My sense is that the tough fighting will continue, " he said. "Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months. As we take away the enemy's safe havens and reduce the enemy's freedom of action, the Insurgents will fight back."

Petraeus has been nominated to head the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan after his predecessor, General Stanley McChrystal, resigned. McChrystal and his aides had made disparaging remarks about Obama administration officials in a magazine interview.

At Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearing, Petraeus said he believes the Afghan government and its international allies can still succeed in the fight against the Taliban.

But many observers say any progress will be slow. Jeremy Binnie, a terrorism and insurgency expert at IHS Jane's defense group, says instead of making sustainable gains and winning over the public, coalition troops have been preoccupied with chasing insurgents.

"What we're typically seeing that the coalition and Afghan allies are capable of securing sort of district centers, the center of these towns, and displacing the Taliban out of them," he says. "But the insurgents merely move a few miles down the road and they sort of set up a new safe haven and then they do their absolute utmost to undermine any perception of security."

Rampant corruption in the Afghan government is also raising doubts about the overall war strategy that is now aimed at winning the support of civilians and potential militant defectors.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Kabul Wednesday to discuss the country's anti-corruption efforts. He also will discuss ways to improve Afghanistan's judicial system in his meetings with Afghan and U.S. officials.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid