It was a matter of time.
Marines in Afghanistan recently launched Operation Jaws, an effort to root out the Taliban in Zamindawar, an area of northern Helmand province that has been a hotbed for insurgent activity.
The operation was headed by 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., and ran from May 25 to June 9, according to this new Marine Corps news release. They targeted an area of Kajaki district that I wrote about several times while embedded there in April.
As outlined in this previous story, Marines had been observing insurgents in Zamindawar for quite some time, and raided it previously.In this case, Marines killed at least 50 fighters and eliminated numerous fighting positions, Marine officials said. The grunts involved braved small-arms fire, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, but sustained no combat casualties.
One interesting footnote: In April, elements of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., conducted regular surveillance on Zamindawar. However, it was 2/5 that conducted this operation, after arriving from nearby Musa Qala district. As Marine forces in Afghanistan are drawn down this summer, we’ll probably see an increase in combat power spread out in that fashion.