Friday, March 23, 2007

Army general expels Marine's first special operation company from Afghanistan

Special operations forces in Afghanistan. The Pentagon is investigating an incident on March 4 in which Afghan witnesses and several wounded civilians told Associated Press freelancers that U.S. forces had fired on civilians in Nangarhar province after a suicide attack on a Marine convoy.

The Corps’ first Marine special operations company has been expelled from Afghanistan after a March 4 enemy ambush on the Marines left eight Afghans dead and another 34 wounded, a U.S. spokesman said Friday.

The decision to remove the MSOC was made by Army Maj. Gen. Frank Kearney, head of U.S. Special Operations Command-Central Command, based on his assessment of the people’s perceptions of what happened, said Army Lt. Col. Louis Leto, a spokesman for SOCCent.

“After the incident, which prompted an ongoing investigation, the general thought or felt it degrades the unit’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency,” Leto said.

The MSOC’s deployment into Afghanistan is significant and historic, as it is the Corps’ first spec-ops unit to deploy into combat since the creation of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in early 2006. The command is the Marine Corps’ portion of the joint U.S. Special Operations Command.

Read the rest at the Marine Corps Times

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