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American Forces Press Service

By JIM GARAMONE

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2009 – A new tactical directive for coalition forces serving in Afghanistan re-emphasizes the importance of preventing civilian casualties.

Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, released the directive July 2. It builds on previous tactics and is much clearer about use of close-air support, searching Afghan houses and protecting Afghan cultural and religious sensitivities. All coalition forces in Afghanistan must follow the directive.

Taliban fighters use a tactic of engaging coalition forces from positions that expose Afghan civilians to danger. Close-air support of coalition and Afghan personnel engaged in a May 4 firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Farah province killed numerous civilians. The Taliban cite such incidents to lead people to believe the NATO-led force does not care for Afghan civilians. (more…)

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