“Operation ANACONDA sought to clear the enemy in that valley area and in those hills and succeeded in doing so where many operations in history had not been able to get that done.”
― General Tommy R. Franks, U.S. Army, Commander, U.S. Central Command
Operation Anaconda was the largest combat operation in Afghanistan of the War on Terrorism that began after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001. The operation involved about 2,000 coalition troops, including more than 900 Americans, 200 U.S. Special Forces and other troops, and 200 special operations troops from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Norway, New Zealand, and Afghan allies. In the heavy firefight that ensued in March of 2002, two Chinooks were shot down and a number of others were severely damaged. American forces eventually gained the upper hand, inflicting heavy casualties on the Taliban forces and pushing them out of the valley. It was the audacity and tenacity of some very good junior and mid-level tactical leaders that prevented the operation from becoming a debacle. At the end of Operation Anaconda, the U.S. and Afghan forces had succeeded at removing the majority of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban presence from the Shahi-Kot Valley.
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