The Ministry and Defence is warning of an expected upsurge in British casualties as a large offensive becomes imminent.
"People should be prepared for British casualties resulting from the upcoming major offensive in Helmand province, Operation MOSHTARAK, which will involve thousands of ISAF troops clearing parts of central Helmand of insurgents, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth has said.Less attention has been given to the expected increase in Afghan casualties, both civilian and combatant. However, large scale population displacement appears to be occurring and British sources are briefing about the inevitability of civilian casualties. [CBC, Independent]
While minor operations involving British troops as part of the initial 'shaping' phase of Operation MOSHTARAK have been taking place, the major 'clearing' phase of the operation is yet to begin." [MOD]