Taliban announce beginning of their ‘spring offensive’

The Taliban have announced that they will launch their ‘spring offensive’ against the Afghan government and Coalition and Afghan forces starting on May 1. The announcement comes just one day after top US officers warned of a major Taliban offensive that will start this week.

In a statement released on their propaganda website, Voice of Jihad, the Taliban announced they will launch operation “Badar” starting on May 1. The statement is attributed to the “Leadership Council” of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” which is better known as the Quetta Shura. Badar (or Badr) was a battle fought and won by the Prophet Mohammed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; the victory is attributed to the divine intervention of Allah.

The Taliban said Badar’s primary targets would be “foreign invading forces, members of their spy networks and (other) spies, high-ranking officials of the Kabul Puppet Administration, both military and civilian, members of the cabinet, members of the parliament, Heads of foreign and local companies working for the enemy and contractors.”

The Taliban specifically signaled out members of the Afghan High Peace Council as a primary target of attacks as the council seeks to promote reconciliation and blunt the terror group’s ability to fight against the Afghan government and Coalition forces.

“Since members of the American espionage agencies, government officials of the Puppet Administration and enemies of the Afghan people and Jihad have ensconced themselves in the so-called Peace Council and are trying to pave the way for the prolongation of the American occupation by cashing in on the name of Jihad, religion and tribal chieftainship; wants to prevent Mujahideen from waging Jihad against the invaders and are urging the Afghan Mujahid people to accept American slavery and surrender, therefore, members of the Council can be target of the Mujahideen attacks during the operations as, in view of their role, they are considered official members of the ranks of the enemy,” the Taliban statement read.

The Taliban offensive would focus on “military centers, places of gatherings, airbases, ammunition and logistical military convoys of the foreign invaders in all parts of the country.” The Taliban said that their tactics would include “group and martyrdom seeking attacks,” or suicide attacks and assaults; “group offensives,” or massed assaults; “city attacks,” ambushes, and IED attacks.

The Taliban also said that “strict attention must be paid to the protection and safety of civilians during the spring operations by working out a meticulous military plan.”

However, during past and present operations, the Taliban have been responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan. According to statistics compiled by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan last summer, the Taliban are responsible for 76 percent of the civilian deaths, while Coalition and Afghan forces are responsible for just 12 percent of the civilian deaths.

While publicly the Taliban have claimed they seek to limit civilian casualties, a secretive directive issued by Mullah Omar last year shows the Taliban have no qualms about attacking civilians, including women, who cooperate with the Afghan government or Coalition forces.

The announcement of the beginning of operation Badar takes place just one day after senior, unnamed NATO military officials briefed reporters that the Taliban will launch a major offensive at the end of this month.

“We’re tracking credible intelligence that senior Taliban leaders, backed by the Haqqani network, plan to conduct attacks throughout Afghanistan from the end of April,” one official said, according to Reuters. “They’re attempting to regain momentum after the progress by the coalition over the last year.”

Also yesterday, the US Department of Defense released its biannual report on the status of the war in Afghanistan. In the report, the military said the Taliban’s momentum has been blunted by intensive conventional and special operations offensives. But the Taliban will seek to reverse their losses, particularly in the southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan, where the Taliban have lost their traditional base of power.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • HN says:

    This seems like a great PR campaign for them. Come out all over the country and create the appearance of insecurity to hasten the withdraw of western (particularly) American forces. It seems that this message only covers forces from the Quetta Shura, not the Haqqani Network or HiG.

  • DANNY says:

    All that taliban mumbo-jumbo translates: “we cannot fight against the Americans so we will kill Innocent civilians and aid workers. We are really lying about being willing to die for jihad, because we just want to spill more blood. it’s how we get paid. We are evil”
    and God weeps…

  • sports says:

    Interesting statements and facts in this report. The issue of civilian casualties is interesting to me. Our job has been to win the hearts and minds of the civilian population while AQ and the Tali’s have no qualms about killing civilians who cooperate with the government. What’s interesting is that in theory the civilians don’t have to fear anybody as long as they don’t cooperate with anybody except the AQ and Taliban. I wonder how long this reign of terror will go on and I wonder if withdrawing troops to soon will result in many more civilean casualties.

  • Matt says:

    Pfffft. The Talitubbies don’t have game. We will clean them up with our own offensive called “Operation Spring Cleaning”. lol

  • BullsEye says:

    I sincerely hope ISAF has a plan for this….
    A suprise counter offensive would be great. If only.

  • Ben Haarami says:

    I think that so far, the readers of this article are taking the threats very lightly. This is actually serious business with lives of men and women on the line.
    Sure you can make fun of the Taliban and belittle them but until you’ve been shot at by them and seen their kluged together tactics, you won’t really understand their diligence and the danger it presents.

  • Sharpshot says:

    This is standard. These announcements are common at this time of year. The spring campaigns usually start in mid May, after the poppy harvest is completed, raising much needed finances. We plan for this, just like every other previous spring. The problem is, it is hard to plan/counter when the fight is turning more into a suicide bomber/IED threat.
    Lets see if US politics (read: elections), is going to have a negative impact on security over the next 6 months.
    “There is the right thing to do, and then there is the politically right thing to do.” – A wise man.

  • James says:

    Ben Haarami, I agree with you, this is indeed serious business.
    I did some basic research on this “Battle of Badar.” I couldn’t help but notice that no where did their leader order his guys to dress up like women. Nor did they embark on suicide attacks. Nor did they attack innocent bystanders (i.e., civilians).
    As a matter of fact, they fought on battlefields soldier against soldier as real soldiers should and do.
    Relatively few of their captives did they execute.
    I can’t wait till our guys go toe to toe with these thugs.
    As far as ol’ “hockey mud” is concerned, wasn’t he one of the ones that said: “Islam knows no borders”?
    Why don’t he show his face in Afghanistan? I hope he does, and hopefully our guys can nail him and make a big pile of hockey mud out of him.

  • Paul says:

    Sorry guy’s, but I’m tired of fighting a war we will not win.
    We need to reduce our footprint in that hell hole.

  • Soccer says:

    It is ludicrous to say Islam knows no borders. Even the earliest caliphates and emirates had been separated by borders from each other.
    Who is “hockey mud”?

  • Johno says:

    What do you call the scenario wherein the ISAF loses a few soldiers here and there and the battlefield is strewn with corpses of women and children killed by the Taliban.
    Do you call this victory? Do you say to the mother, father, sister, brother of the dead in all honesty – “they were killed by the ruthlessTaliband” as if it were a proclamation of victory and justice – and hence worth the sacrifice?
    This is called defeat. Whether you grieve your dead in Fort Drum Syracuse or Asad Kunar it is a defeat.
    This simple’ sentiment’ is understood by Al Qaeda. In fact it is one of their major strategies for victory and as a consequence they try and kill as many innocent people as necessary to maintain the ‘rage’.
    One of the major tacticians responsible for the defeat of the United States in Vietnam compared it to a well-intended adult attempting to restrain a child bent on destruction or violence. The adult always appears to be the aggressor and thus responsible for the violence regardless where the true blame actually lies.

  • Charles says:

    Logically, given AQ & Taliban losses in set piece battles with US forces–as well as the anticipated withdrawal of allied forces — the preferred strategy this year would be just ied’s and suicide bombers; Attacks that are showy but didn’t require much investment of men and material–whose point was propaganda rather than strategic or tactical.
    Its a shame that technological innovations in clean fuel are a little delayed. for example the DOD now expects volume production of algae oil to begin in 2013. This sort of thing would shorten the fuel supply line problem in Afghanistan and in some instances might make for a better source of revenue for locals than poppies. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/13/algae-solve-pentagon-fuel-problem
    Just a thought.

  • Jane Morrison says:

    You know the night destroys the day
    Day divides the night
    Try to run
    Try to hide
    Break on through to the other side
    Break on through to the other side
    I found an island in your arms
    Country in your eyes
    Arms that chain
    Eyes that lie
    Break on through to the other side
    Break on through to the other side
    Made the scene
    Week to week
    Day to day
    Hour to hour
    The gate is straight
    Deep and wide
    Break on through to the other side
    Break on through to the other side
    (Ladies and Gentlemen, The Doors to Pakistan are in Gwadar.)

  • BOB MCINTYRE says:

    Bin Laden is Dead!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BobK says:

    Bet OBL news puts this in a new perspective for sure. Has to hit moral somewhat.

  • Mr T says:

    Osama Bin Laden Dead. Stay tuned.

  • Paul says:

    It must be of great satisfaction Bill to you and your staff to know that OBL is DEAD!
    How I have waited to write those words!
    Congratulations to ALL troops tonight for a job well done.
    God Bless. The real God.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    Well they are gonna have to do it without OBL. HE’s DEAD!!! Break on thru break on thru!!! YESSS!!!

  • jon says:


  • BullsEye says:

    Bin Laden is dead. Killed. He is dead. Man, I can’t get over it.
    It’s been so long. So many years. Rejoice and march on!

  • ap says:

    Glad he’s dead.


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