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updated: 2/1/2018 4:30 PM

Marines see Afghan forces improve in Helmand battles

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WASHINGTON -- A senior Marine commander says Afghan forces backed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan's turbulent Helmand Province have gained ground in recent months, but the Taliban still maintains control over roughly half the province.

Marine Brig. Gen. Roger Turner says that as the next unit of Marines takes over in Helmand, there will be a couple hundred more that will be focused on advising smaller Afghan units closer to the fight. Turner just returned from a nine-month deployment to the region.

He says the new deployment of Marines will be able to work more with Afghan kandaks, which are roughly equivalent to an American battalion of about 600 forces. Turner says that the more often that happens, the faster the Afghans will make progress in the fight.

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