Six hundred U-S and Canadian troops have taken up positions on a key mountain range in eastern Afghanistan to hunt down any al-Qaida and Taleban fighters still hiding in the region.
Military officials say "Operation Harpoon" began early this (Thursday) morning in the Shah-e-Kot mountains with 500 Canadian and 100 U-S troops.
The new deployment comes as Turkish, British and U-S officials opened talks in Ankara aimed at clearing the way for Turkey to assume command of the international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.
Turkey -- mired in a deep economic crisis -- has expressed willingness to assume control of the rotating command from Britain.
But Ankara first wants guarantees that other nations will help defray Turkish costs. Turkey also wants assurances that other NATO countries will not pull their troops from the force.
The 45-hundred-member peacekeeping force is made up of troops from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, and the Netherlands.
Last month, NATO ally Turkey became the first Muslim nation to join the peacekeeping force, sending about 260 troops to Afghanistan.