Turkey To Send Special Forces

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Turkey To Send Special Forces

Forces Would Train Northern Alliance

Posted: 8:14 a.m. EST November 1, 2001 Updated: 9:02 a.m. EST November 1, 2001

It looks like Turkey will be helping the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan.

Turkey's prime minister Thursday said that his country will contribute troops. The announcement came a day after reports came out that Washington asked for Turkish troops to train opposition forces in Afghanistan.

Turkish leaders didn't say how many troops would be sent.

Reports suggest a 60-member special forces unit would be deployed in Afghanistan to train the anti-Taliban forces.

Turkish lawmakers have already given blanket approval for troop deployment abroad after the Sept. 11 attacks on America.

Turkey is NATO's only Muslim member.

Taliban Claims To Have Arrested Americans A spokesman for the Taliban said Afghanistan's ruling regime has taken some Americans into custody. Muhammed Dindar said, "we have a few American citizens with us."

Appearing at a news briefing in Pakistan, the Taliban spokesman said the Americans "have been arrested" and their identities "are not known."

The claim hasn't been independently verified. Meantime, a spokesman for anti-Taliban fighters predicts his forces will be able to break through Taliban lines on the Kabul front within a few days -- if the U.S. keeps up the stepped-up pace of air attacks.

U.S. Warplanes Blast Away At Taliban Front Lines U.S. warplanes have roared into action again Thursday in an intensified air war in Afghanistan.

They've been pounding a strategic Taliban garrison in the north, softening up the region for a possible advance by the opposition alliance.

An opposition spokesman said other jets overnight hit a Taliban fuel and ammunition dump near an air base on the front lines outside Kabul.

The anti-Taliban fighters, meantime, said the U.S. general in charge of the Afghan campaign has promised to coordinate airstrikes with the opposition headquarters.

But so far, there is no sign the out-gunned and poorly trained rebels are moving in. And the Taliban claim their forces have pushed back an opposition attack near a key northern city.

The Taliban also claim U.S. planes attacked a power plant Thursday. A spokesman accused the Americans of trying to destroy the morale of the people by "making their lives very bad."

Earlier Thursday, the intensified U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan apparently blasted two Taliban-controlled villages.

A northern alliance commando said bombs struck the villages early Thursday along the front lines north of Kabul. The alliance said hundreds of Taliban fighters are headquartered in the towns. An opposition spokesman said U.S. jets have also destroyed a Taliban fuel and ammunition dump.

Villagers in horse-drawn carts have taken advantage of a lull in the bombing north of Kabul to go to market. A few people have been spotted sitting by the road chatting and drinking tea. A father who had his 5-year-old son with him said, "We're used to the sound of bombing." He said he hopes the boy grows up to be a soldier.

U.S. jets began targeting the Taliban front lines last week and have stepped up the attacks since the weekend.

Copyright 2001 by Channel2000.com.

-- PHO (owennos@bigfoot.com), November 01, 2001

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