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9 Feb, 2010 23:01

Yet another Afghan offensive in Helmand province on its way

US troops as well as Afghan soldiers are planning an offensive military operation against the Taliban in the town of Marjah in Southern Afghanistan, the capital of the drug trade in Helmand province.

Afghans were fleeing the area over the weekend to avoid the impending violence, finding temporary housing in schools and with relatives.

The offensive could become the largest counter-insurgency operation since the war began in late 2001.

And it will be the first major assault since US President Barack Obama announced a 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan.

Washington-based journalist and blogger Gregg Carlstrom says the offensive probably will not change the course of the conflict.

“It is not the only stronghold left in Afghanistan. The Taliban has other strongholds in Helmand and Kandahar,” said Carlstrom, “but they are saying that in an effort to draw in US and NATO forces because they have been talking about this offensive for months.”

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