| GEO World|
| US Marines in position for Afghan offensive|
| Updated at: 1121 PST, Saturday, June 27, 2009|
CAMP LEATHERNECK: A new wave of US Marines sent to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama to turn the table on Taliban insurgents is in position and ready for action, the military has said.
About 10,000 fighters of Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade have arrived in Helmand, an opium-growing southern province where the Taliban have widespread power despite being ousted from government by US-led forces in 2001.
"All the Marines being deployed have now got here," Lieutenant Abe Sipe, spokesman for the brigade, said Friday. "Our overall troop number is 10,700, of which 7,000 are at Camp Leatherneck and about 3,000 elsewhere in Helmand.
"These Marines form the major part of the US troop increase."
A total of 17,000 US troops and 4,000 military trainers have been pledged for Afghanistan as part of Obama's new strategy to defeat the Islamist Taliban, who have been gaining in strength over the past few years.