‘British military fired 46million rounds of ammunition on Taliban’

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Friday, 10 April 2015

A report says the British military fired 46 million rounds of ammunition at the Taliban during eight years of war in Afghanistan.

The bullets and artillery shells used cost the taxpayer a total of nearly £200 million ($300 million), Daily Mirror reported.

As many as two million rounds were fired from 9mm ­handguns as troops fought life-or-death duels with Taliban close-up.

The figures came to light after the Daily Mirror made a Freedom of Information request regarding the Afghan conflict.

Commandos from the UK first arrived in Afghanistan in late 2001 to join the American-led war.

At 50 pence per round, that means they fired at least £5,000 per day from their standard weapons.

Special Air Service (SAS) veteran Robert Henry Craft told the paper: “The amount of ammo expended shows how British troops in Afghanistan were fighting for their lives every day.”

Flown by Prince Harry during the conflict and armed with 30mm cannon, during a typical six-month tour of Helmand 55,000 of these bullets were fired by Apache helicopters at the Taliban.

Now John Rees from Stop The War Coalition says: “I think it brings home the horrific scare of the fighting. There is a huge amount of small arms fire, we’re only talking about the small arms fired that was used in this conflict and one doesn’t need a great amount of imagination to think about the enormous amount of devastation that it would have caused.”

“In terms of money it was a tiny percentage of what was spent in total. We’re not talking about some millions of pounds, which were taken for this; we are talking about billions of pounds over the period of war and occupation in Afghanistan.”

Rees told Press TV’s UK Desk in a Thursday interview that “apart from the military themselves and arms corporations that supply them, I can’t think of anybody who benefits really. The afghans certainly didn’t they were on the wrong end of those bullets when they were fired and we know that the afghan casualties including the civilian casualties were many, many times greater than casualties among the soldiers who were firing those weapons.”

“I don’t see that the British people benefitted, they spent an enormous amount of money and sent their sons and daughters there to be killed in this conflict so I don’t see they can have benefitted either.”

Rees said “the tragedy” remains as there is still no “peace and stability in Afghanistan... Taliban still have considerable strength.”

During the British military’s 13-year war in Afghanistan, 453 UK military personnel were killed.

Foreign combat operations in Afghanistan ended late last year, with British forces handing over their last bases in Helmand to the Afghan military in October 2014.

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