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Afghan and American troops have killed at least six suspected insurgents in an offensive near Asadabad, Afghanistan, dubbed Operation Mountain Lion, U.S. military officials said.

The operation targets insurgents’ “sanctuary and ... their ability to resupply” in the Marawara District of Kunar province, according to a news release. The operation includes more than 2,500 Afghan and coalition troops, including members of the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, and the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

Afghan troops include members of the 3rd Brigade of the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps, American officials said.

The U.S. troops are part of Task Force Spartan, which launched the “predawn air-and-ground assaults [Wednesday] in the Pech River Valley, an area notorious for terrorist activity,” according to the news release.

“However long it takes to rid this area of extremist activity, we’ll be there,” Command Sgt. Maj. James Redmore, the Task Force Spartan top enlisted soldier, was quoted in the release as saying.

According to Air Force officials, the service is providing 24-hour close air support for ground troops in Mountain Lion.

“This operation is helping the government of Afghanistan set the security conditions so democratic processes can take root,” Maj. Gen. Allen Peck, deputy Combined Forces Air Component commander, said in an Air Force news release. “Our job is to bring airpower to bear on the anti-Afghan forces and support the coalition troops on the ground.”

U.S. Air Force F-15s, A-10s and B-52s are being used in the operations, along with Royal Air Force GR-7s.

Global Hawk and Predator drones also are providing intelligence and reconnaissance, with KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft providing refueling support, Air Force officials said.


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