Operation Mountain Viper
Operation Mountain Viper took place around the mountain town of Daichopan in the southeastern province of Zabul. The offensive involved Afghan troops and US Special Forces and Mountain units. US jets and helicopters provided air support. The enhanced brigade and stand-by close-air support worked together to kill and capture the anti-coalition forces and to deny them sanctuary.
The operation followed a series of fatal attacks on Afghan police and other targets in the area, which the Afghan transitional government blamed on the Taleban remnants. The Taleban forces were also said to enjoy the support of troops loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister now leading a guerrilla-style insurgency against the current government.
Coalition forces suffered no killed or missing in the fighting to that point, but sustained several light injuries since the operation began. The exact start date for the operation occured at some point between 25 October 2003 and 4 September 2003. Operation Mountain Viper complemented a similar operation, called Warrior Sweep, against militants in provinces farther north, including Paktia and Paktika.
The US military said between 72 and 100 Taleban fighters were killed during the week preceeding 5 September 2003. Operation Mountain Viper continued through September 2003 and into October 2003 in the area of Kandahar, as well as Orgun, and resulted in the confiscation of over 1,682 mm mortar rounds, numerous rockets, and smaller-caliber munitions. The operation was followed by Operation Avalanche, which started in December 2003.
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