Wednesday, September 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

USA to launch ‘pincer’ attack
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25
The USA is preparing for a “pincer formation” attack on Afghanistan : using the Northern Alliance to the hilt in search of Osama bin Laden and resort to missile and aerial attack on specific targets.

As Northern Alliance gears up to launch a decisive action against Taliban with the support of US army and Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, American units of 82nd Airborne and 101st Air Assault Division have reached near Quetta and Peshawar in Pakistan, well-placed sources here said today.

As a huge build-up of ships, three Airborne Carriers and scores of ships, dozens of guided missile cruisers, destroyers, nuclear submarines and over 200 aircraft, with another about 300 based in the Gulf air bases, the USA seems to be now firmly on a warfooting.

The three carriers are accompanied by battle groups totalling more than 20 war ships capable of firing accurate cruise missiles upto 1600 km.

Sources said initially the special force units of the USA and the UK would be making the move inside Afghanistan and the Northern Alliance would be supported in its attack on Taliban-occupied area, specially Kabul.

British SAS and troopers, together with members of MI-6 and CIA would be working with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in search for Osama bin Laden.

The American military attacks are likely to be in two phases: launching missiles and aerial bombings restricted to targets inside Afghanistan, followed by potentially protracted ground campaign wherein American and British special forces would also be key participants.

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