Thousands of civilians flee their homes as British forces prepare for their biggest operation in Afghanistan. UK Troops Set For Biggest Taliban Battle British forces are preparing for their biggest operation in Afghanistan to clear the Taliban out of its last remaining urban stronghold. Approximately 15,000 British, American and Afghan troops will be involved in Operation Moshtarak, which takes its name from the word "together". Special forces units SAS and the SBS will join troops from the Grenadier Guards and the Royal Welsh Battle Group to make up the 4,000-strong UK contingent. The troops have been getting into position over the past 48 hours, with civilians being warned to leave the area before the fighting starts. Senior military figures have warned there will be casualties during the operation to secure control of central Helmand province. In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the director of communications for operations in Afghanistan explained why details of the offensive had been announced in advance. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/UK-Troops-Take-Part-In-Operation-Moshtarak-Against-Taliban-Major-General-Messenger-Interviewed/Article/201002115544229?lpos=Politics_Carousel_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15544229_UK_Troops_Take_Part_In_Operation_Moshtarak_Against_Taliban%3A_Major_General_Messenger_Interviewed http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/7177157/Afghanistan-4000-British-troops-set-for-biggest-battle-with-Taliban.html The strike force, composed of British, US and Afghan troops, will storm into some of the most dangerous areas of central Helmand in a series of daring raids â the biggest since the first Gulf war â as part of Operation Moshtarak. The offensive, the start date of which is being kept secret, will dwarf last summerâs Operation Pantherâs Claw in which 10 British soldiers were killed and more than 100 injured. The mission is designed to âbreak the backâ of the Taliban in Helmand but commanders warned that casualties could be the highest of any operation in the eight-year war. Senior officers believe that there is a âreal riskâ that British forces could lose a Chinook helicopter laden with troops in the assault and warned the public to âsteel itselfâ for casualties. Gen Sir David Richards, the Chief of the General Staff, said casualties were inevitable. âOne has to be prepared physically to drive the insurgents out,â he said. The battle for the Taliban heartlands in central Helmand will be the first significant test of the strategy proposed by Gen Stanley McChrystal, the American commanding the Afghanistan operation, for achieving success. Nato troops, supported by special forces, combat jets, Apache attack helicopters, tanks and drones will simultaneously attack several Taliban enclaves within the notorious âGreen Zoneâ, aiming to kill or capture an estimated 1,000 heavily-armed insurgents.