29 Jul 2013

British troops tackle Taliban again

9:16 am on 29 July 2013

British troops have returned to fight the Taliban in the Sangin district of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.

The BBC reports it is almost three years since they left the area.

The Ministry of Defence insists that their role is limited to providing back up for an operation by 215 Corps of the Afghan National Army.

Afghan military commanders requested assistance in Sangin district earlier this month.

About 80 members of 4th Battalion The Rifles were involved. The MoD said there were no British casualties.

According to The Sunday Times, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond personally authorised the return to the area for British forces.

The paper said 106 British personnel were killed in fighting there between 2006 and 2010.

The Ministry of Defence said UK personnel occasionally operated outside the usual British area of operations in central Helmand in an advisory capacity.

The BBC reports Brigadier Rupert Jones said the operation had demonstrated further how effective 3/215 Brigade of the ANA had become.