To the north, a U.S.-Afghan force led by the U.S. Army's 5th Stryker Brigade linked up with Marines on Thursday, closing off a Taliban escape route to the nearby major city of Lashkar Gah.
Marines said the Taliban defenders were apparently trying to draw the Americans into a bigger fight before the U.S. was ready to launch the main attack.
"They're trying to draw us in," said Capt. Joshua Winfrey, 30, of Tulsa, Okla., commander of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines.
Through much of the day, insurgents repeatedly fired rockets and mortars at the American and Afghan units poised in foxholes around the town, 380 miles (about 610 kilometers) southwest of Kabul.
"I am not surprised at all that this is taking place," said the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Brian Christmas. "We are touching their trigger-line," referring to the outer rim of the Taliban defenses.
I'm surprised the Taliban are choosing to have a stand up fight. I can guess this will be the most booby trapped, IED laden fight the Marines will ever experience in their history.
The Taliban will get to enjoy one of our new toys though...
I hope they like it.
Semper Fi, my brothers.