Six Diggers Wounded As Australian Special Forces Kill 150 Taliban
"Most Intense" Battles Since Vietnam War
By Darryl Mason
A soldier involved in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has revealed his anger at the decision to pull an Australian Special Forces team out of an area now shaping up as the largest battlefield in the 'War On Terror'.
He's angry because the Australian Defence Force is not going to send in replacement forces when the task force leaves.
"It's not right to pull out. We shouldn't just go there for a shoot 'em up and then come home..."The soldier is referring to news only now reaching Australian media.
In July, Australian special forces and commando units were involved in a nine day long battle against the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan.
150 Taliban are reported to have been killed by the Australian teams, with six Australians suffering serious wounds during the fighting.
From news.com :
If the Australian government is so committed to the 'War On Terror', why are they pulling special forces teams out of battlefields where the fighting appears most intense?
"In the most intense battles since the Vietnam War, Diggers from the Special Forces Task Group used superior weapons and overwhelming airborne fire support from USAF AC-130 Hercules Spectre gunships.
Codenamed Operation Perth, the hardest fighting took place in July during search-and-destroy missions in the Chora district, about 40km northeast of the Australian base at Tarin Khowt, in southern Afghanistan.
During the year-long operation the three rotations of the task group have sustained 11 casualties, including several men seriously wounded.
One commando had part of his jaw blown off, another was shot in the buttocks and an SAS specialist was hit in the abdomen. Amazingly, the round missed his vital organs.
In one action, six commandos, including the company sergeant major, who sustained leg injuries, were wounded by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade.
...at the height of the battle, three AC-130 Spectre aircraft ran out of ammunition.The task group includes a commando platoon of 50 men from the Sydney-based 4RAR and 40 SAS troopers from the unit's No.3 squadron. The 100 support soldiers include chemical weapons experts from the Incident Response Regiment.
Running out of money? The Australian government has committed more than $20 billion to defence and war-fighting in the next few years. This may be a key reason why they are so enthusiastic about flogging valuable assets of the Australian taxpayers, like Telstra and Medibank Private.
Or does the Prime Minister, John Howard, in particular, fear the reaction of the public if the body count of Australian soldiers killed fighting the 'War On Terror' starts to rise?
One thing is clear. Australian special forces are not happy at all about being wrenched away from the battlefields where the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda is so vitally important, and proving to be extremely decisive.
No doubt they fear a repeat of what happened last time, in late 2001, when the focus for Australia's military was pulled away from the war in Afghanistan to prepare for the 'War On Iraq'.
A clear majority of military analysts across the world now believe moving the 'War On Terror' fight away from Afghanistan to focus on deposing Saddam Hussein is chief amongst the key reasons why the Taliban have been able to gain back so much ground in Southern Afghanistan.
Australian special forces have a hard-won and highly respected reputation amongst the world's military forces for never walking away from a fight.
But now it seems at least some those forces don't have a choice when it comes to leaving Southern Afghanistan.
Howard and his 'War On Terror' chiefs have made their decision.
They're out. Presumably to prepare for deployment elsewhere.
Syria and/or Iran perhaps?