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Operation Anaconda

In March 2002 fighting in the U.S. Attack on Afghanistan was renewed as coalition forces made a massive push against about 500 to 1000 al Qaeda and Taliban forces (many of whom are with their families) in the Shahi-Kot Valley[?] and Arma Mountains[?] southeast of Zormat[?], in an operation code-named Operation Anaconda, after the anaconda boa constrictor.

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March 18, 2002

U.S. commanders declare Operation Anaconda over, "an unqualified and complete success".

March 12, 2002

U.S.-led forces overtake the valley and cave complexes.

March 10, 2002

Maj. Bryan Hilferty states that the "major battle ended three or four days ago". The U.S. sends 400 of its troops back to base.

March 6, 2002

American aircraft strike a vehicle near the village of Shikin[?], killing 14, including women and children.

March 4, 2002

Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers are killed as they attempt to infiltrate the Shahi Kot Valley[?] on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission. Around 3 a.m. local time a MH-47 Chinook[?] helicopter was hit by an rocket-propelled grenade, causing a soldier to fall out and damaging a hydraulic line. The helicopter made an emergency landing a half-mile away.

A second helicopter on the mission picked up the first helicopter's crew and flew to where the crew member had fallen. The soldiers soon came under heavy fire, and six were killed. The remaining soldiers returned fire and retrieved the bodies before returning to base.

It is not certain whether the fallen soldier died immediately or was killed by opposing soldiers.

March 2, 2002

Army Chief Warrant Officer Stanley L. Harriman[?], of the Third Special Forces Group, is killed in an ambush along the road from Gardez to the Shahi Kot Valley[?].

March 1, 2002

In eastern Afghanistan, Operation Anaconda begins.



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