Compiled from International Security Assistance Force and ISAF Joint Command News Releases
WASHINGTON – Top U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Afghanistan offered their congratulations yesterday as an Afghan officer took charge of Afghan Detention Operations Command.
Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, joined U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan C. Crocker in congratulating Maj. Gen. Faroq Barekzai on his assumption of command at a ceremony held in Parwan, Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai appointed Barekzai to his new position March 28, officials said.
“Today’s event is nothing short of monumental when looking at the significance of Major General Barekzai’s assumption of command and the responsibilities he assumes for the Afghan people and his nation’s justice system,” Allen said at the ceremony. “This is a symbolic and visible step marking the progress we continue to make in partnership with the Afghan government as we work to develop and uphold the sovereignty they rightfully deserve.”
Officials said the ceremony marked the first step of an agreed-upon process that will give the Afghan defense ministry full control of the detention facility within six months while protecting U.S. international and domestic legal obligations regarding detainees. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed March 9, the United States will provide ongoing support and advice to the Afghan commander for up to one year.
“This assumption of command marks another step in the transition to Afghan control of security and is a sign of our support for Afghan sovereignty, as well as our commitment to an enduring partnership,” Crocker said.
In operations around Afghanistan yesterday:
-- An Afghan-led force in the Daman district of Kandahar province captured a Taliban facilitator who supplied insurgents with weapons, ammunition and equipment. He also participated in roadside bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces.
-- A combined force found and destroyed 1,650 pounds of marijuana in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province.
In March 31 operations:
-- A combined force captured a Taliban facilitator, detained another insurgent and seized an Afghan National Police uniform in the Maidan Shahr district of Wardak province. The facilitator provided roadside bombs and other weapons to insurgents for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. He is also suspected in the Jan. 2 attack along Highway 2 against a convoy escorted by Afghan security forces. Three Afghan soldiers were wounded in that attack.
-- A combined force captured a Taliban facilitator and detained three additional insurgents in the Charhar Darah district of Kunduz province. The facilitator managed the insurgent financial network in the province and provided funds that enabled attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
-- A combined force detained a suspect while searching for a Taliban facilitator in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province. The facilitator supplies insurgents with weapons, ammunition and equipment for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Kandahar City.
-- A combined force captured a Haqqani network leader, detained two additional insurgents and destroyed assault rifles and grenades in the Sayyidabad district of Wardak province. The Haqqani leader directed kidnappings and other insurgent operations against civilians and Afghan and coalition forces.
-- A combined force detained several suspects while searching for a Haqqani leader in the Bak district of Khost province. The insurgent leader organizes roadside bombings and directs other attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
-- A combined force detained three suspects and seized multiple weapons while searching for a Taliban facilitator in the Gardez district of Paktia province. The facilitator supplies insurgents with roadside bombs, weapons and ammunition for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
In March 29 operations:
-- A combined force came under insurgent mortar fire near a combat outpost in the Tagab district of Kapisa province. The mortar rounds landed in a nearby Afghan civilian compound, killing one woman and wounding three children. The children were provided medical treatment by Afghan and coalition forces.
-- An Afghan-led combined force detained several suspected insurgents and seized and destroyed more than 3,000 pounds of various narcotics in the Reg-e Khan Neshin district of Helmand province.