Contingents of the U.S. and Afghan Special Forces have taken the eastern district of Nangarhar, where the main ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan was located. No American or Afghan troops were killed in the offensive despite heavy fighting that resulted in 167 terrorist fighters dead.
The complex, step-by-step military operation in Deh Bala, which borders Pakistan, has finally wrapped up in June after nearly three months, as military officials told Reuters this weekend. All that's left is to clear the place of the landmines planted by the terrorist group, according to Lt. Col. Josh Thiel, from the U.S. First Special Forces Group.
The area is one of the ISIS' main bases of operation as well as their source of support, according to Thiel. "This was one of the main green zones that did two things. One, it provided money, finance, logistics to ISIS (Islamic State) and we've taken that away from them," he said.
Deh Bala's proximity to Pakistan also made it a key supply route for the terror group.
Thiel added that aside from being the base of their operations, the site was also a launching point for their high-profile attacks on Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan as well as Jalalabad, the capital of the Nangarhar Province.
The offensive was carried out by 600 Green Berets and three Afghan commando companies, which claimed the lives of 167 enemy fighters, according to the U.S. military via Military.com.
"This area, two months ago, was controlled by Daesh," Brig. Gen. John W. Brennan Jr., commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan said from an operations outpost overlooking the conflict area.
"We pushed them into the mountains, so they cannot harm the people here," he added, referring to the local mountain range in Deh Bala. Military officials reported finding booby traps and the mutilated remains of two beheaded women in the valley after clearing it of ISIS fighters.