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Operation Anaconda - 1-18 March 2002: Home

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Operation Anaconda overview

A U.S.-led coalition campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan during March 1-18, 2002. The offensive was part of Operation Enduring Freedom and took place in the Shah-i-kot Valley in Paktia Province in eastern Afghanistan. Although the December 2001 Battle of Tora Bora had routed most of the Taliban and Al Qaeda from the region, by February 2002 insurgents and foreign fighters had begun to return to the Shah-i-kot Valley and the Arma Mountains and were initiating new attacks on coalition forces. In response, the allied launched Operation Anaconda in an effort to dislodge the insurgents and to prevent a more significant enemy offensive from unfolding in the spring. The coalition was also responding to reports that senior insurgent leaders, including Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, may have been present in the area.

Operation Anaconda offically ended on March 18, although there continued to be minor skirmishes in the region for the next month. During the operation, the coalition lost 15 killed and 82 wounded. the majority of the casualties were American, including 8 killed and 72 wounded. The Taliban and Al Qaeda lost between 300 and 400 killed; however, the majority of the enemy forces were able to escape.

taken from - Spencer C. Tucker et al., eds., The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2010): 104-105.