Headquarters Resolute Support statement on #Sangin: "The only thing they left to the Taliban is rubble and dirt" pic.twitter.com/diS4Qt6rQh— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) March 23, 2017
Military Times: Reports of Sangin’s fall are 'complete fabrication,' U.S. military insists
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials are disputing reports the Taliban have retaken a hotly contested region in the opium-rich Helmand valley, saying local security forces made a planned, deliberate withdrawal from the Sangin district center after months of heavy fighting left their facilities in ruins.
"It is a complete fabrication," Navy Capt. William Salvin, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Kabul, told Military Times on Thursday. "This move has been in the planning for months. ... There is nothing left in the old district center except dirt and rubble."
The Taliban, he added, caused extensive damage to the local bazaar in Sangin, rendering it impossible for citizens to access government officials and services. A new municipal complex has been established about a mile to the south. From there, "the Afghan police can now do their jobs effectively," Salvin said, and the Afghan army elements posted to Sangin are "better positioned to take the fight to the Taliban."
An Afghan defense official echoed those sentiments.
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WNU Editor: The Long War Journal/Threat Matrix completely rips apart these U.S./NATO/Afghan claims .... Resolute Support spins loss of Sangin district center as a victory (Threat Matrix). And yes .... the top U.S. General in Afghanistan is blaming the Russians for why the Taliban are winning .... NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Suspects That Russia Is Supplying The Taliban (March 24, 2017).