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‘Probably The Largest’ Al-Qaeda Training Camp Ever Destroyed In Afghanistan

By Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 30 October 2015

A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet takes off from Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on July 28, 2015. the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram was involved in a massive operation against al-Qaeda training camps this month. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford/ Air Force)

KABUL, Afghanistan — A multi-day operation in southern Afghanistan this month that involved 200 Special Operations forces and scores of American airstrikes targeted what was “probably the largest” al-Qaeda training camp found in the 14-year Afghan war, the senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan said on Friday.

Army Gen. John F. Campbell, the four-star officer in charge of the U.S. war effort, said the camp was used by AQIS, an acronym for al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. The group’s formation was announced last year by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and is believed to be based in Pakistan and focused on India, Pakistan and other nations in southern Asia.

The operation, announced by the U.S. military on Oct. 11, hit one training area that sprawled over 30 square miles and another small one that was about one square mile, U.S. military officials said. U.S. and Afghan troops were involved in the ground assault, with 63 airstrikes launched to cover them. Some 160 al-Qaeda fighters were reported killed.