International briefs: British special forces play key role in N. Alliance success

Posted 1:00 p.m. Nov. 15

By Alex Kingsbury
U-WIRE Washington Bureau

MANCHESTER, England – Special Forces from both the British and American armed forces have played a key role in the Taliban’s flee from the capital city of Kabul officials confirmed Tuesday.

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, said British Special Forces “played a very significant part, introducing consistency between the bombing and the movement on the ground.”

The confirmation of the presence of British SAS troops on the ground in Afghanistan ended widespread speculation that the elite troops used extensively in the Balkans and Northern Ireland were being used in the war on terrorism.

Hoon, speaking during a visit to the Armed Forces’ Permanent Joint Headquarters near London, also said that the SAS had been working closely with Northern Alliance fighters.

Last month the British moved a 200 strong contingent of the Royal Marines to a staging post in the Arabian Sea, while placing others on a high state of readiness.

Ground efforts by Special Operations Forces have been used to coordinate bombing by American B-52 aircraft in addition to aiding in the strategy of the Northern Alliance assault.

The London Times has reported that Northern Alliance has received 50 new Russian made tanks, ammunition and fuel that have been credited with their rapid success against the Taliban.

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