Nato says it has launched its biggest offensive in Afghanistan since the invasion of 2001 which drove the Taliban from power. The extremist Islamic movement is again the target but the country’s drugs lords are also in the firing line. Operation Achilles is expected to eventually involve 4,500 NATO soldiers and 1,000 Afghans troops.
The alliance says it will also help with the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The military action is focused on the southern Helmand Province where the Taliban has strengthened its position recently. It is also one of the world’s main opium producing areas.