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Big NATO assault against Taliban "imminent"

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Big NATO assault against Taliban "imminent"
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Afghanistan has been dominating talks between NATO defence ministers in Istanbul, amid reports a major attack against the Taliban is imminent.

The ministers are debating how member states should participate in future operations, including who will pay.

But NATO says it does have the combat forces it needs, saying that is a testimony to NATO soldarity, commitment and capability.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “In the coming days you will see a demonstration of that capability in a series of operations led by the Afghans and supported by Nato in central Helmand.”

British troops have launched helicopter advances in the Nad Ali district, to prepare the battlefield for a major operation against a Taliban stronghold.

Military sources say the assault will be one of the biggest of the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan.