So, the US infantry has gone through the baptism of fire. According to Western news agencies, US Marines for the first time clashed with the Taliban last night. It looks as if there was no chance for them to shoot but just to watch.
According to one of the available versions, the events unfolded in the following way. Immediately after midnight, the Marines’ reconnaissance patrol discovered a Taliban military convoy coming from Kandagar and heading for US positions. The convoy consisted of 15 tanks and armoured vehicles. The Americans promptly activated their helicopter gunships, which for 3.5 hours were “processing” the convoy and the adjacent area. News agencies, citing Pentagon sources, reported that the bulk of the attackers was destroyed several kilometers away from the US positions. There is no ascertained information so far how many Taliban soldiers did reach the US position after all. Judging by the fact that reinforcement is being sent to the Marines, some of the Taliban soldiers have survived the helicopter fire and are trying to attack the US positions. Still, this information is not confirmed. Moreover, there is a different version of the above incident. According to this version, the Taliban convoy was not going to attack the US positions; it was moving past those positions (keeping its distance) in the direction of the border with Pakistan. The Taliban convoy, according to this version, was shot by F-16 fighters and not helicopters. The reinforcement, which is heading for an airdrome located 100km away from Kandagar, where the US military base is stationed, is interpreted here as a planned buildup of the troops. Therefore, it may well be that the US Marines have not yet fought anybody at all, although they have surely smelled powder, as bombs were being dropped quite nearby.
It should be noted that the US propaganda machine is now working at its full capacity (which is natural in these circumstances). One can suppose that the world will be repeatedly informed in the nearest future of US troops’ unbelievable exploits, of neutralized Taliban militants, and of handsome victories. The main thing here is not to neutralize more enemies than they are in their actual number.
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/27/34254.html
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