Britain says it is sending troops for the military campaign against Afghanistan's Taleban government and the al-Qaida network run by alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Speaking in British parliament today (Friday), Minister of State for Armed Forces Adam Ingram said 200 Royal Marine Commandos will be put aboard an assault ship (HMS Fearless) as an "immediately available force" to help support the operation.
Mr. Ingram said another 400 commandos will be held at "high readiness" for possible deployment to the region.
He said about 42-hundred British military personnel, with ships, transport and patrol aircraft will join the operations, substantially enhancing the military capabilities of the anti-terrorism coalition.
U-S strikes on Kabul Friday hit two International Red Cross warehouses. A Red Cross spokesman told Reuters news agency the warehouses were on fire and there were no immediate reports of any casualties. He said since Friday is a holiday, he thought very few people were in the warehouses. Last week also, a Red Cross warehouse was damaged by U-S bombings.
News reports quote witnesses as saying this week U-S planes also dropped bombs over the Gora Tangi region, where Afghan fighters are believed to have built a maze of tunnels.
The nearby Khost region came under U-S cruise missile attack in August, 1998, when the United States targeted suspected terrorist training camps run by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization. In another development, the Taleban's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has called for world-wide demonstrations against the U-S led attacks in Afghanistan. The Afghan Islamic Press quoted Mullah Omar as saying all Muslims who agree with his point of view should hold rallies supporting the Taleban.
In Washington, U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday U-S forces are doing everything possible, in his words, to "locate and get" Osama bin Laden, other leaders of his al-Qaida network and the Taleban who protect them.