Coalition and Afghan special operations forces killed the Taliban commander who led forces in an area in central Wardak where 38 US and Afghan troops, including 17 Navy SEALs, were killed when their helicopter was shot down in early August.
Qari Tahir, who the International Security Assistance Force described as the Taliban’s commander in the Tangi Valley in Wardak province, was killed yesterday in an airstrike in the Sayyidabad district. He was killed “after the security force located Tahir and an associate in a dry riverbed,” ISAF stated in a press release.
ISAF described Tahir as “a significant Taliban leader” who “coordinated ambush attacks against Afghan forces and led fighters under his control to conduct hijackings of convoy vehicles” and who also “facilitated abductions and held his hostages for ransom.”
Tahir was the target of the special operations raid on Aug. 6 in which the Taliban shot down a US Army Chinook. Thirty-eight US and Afghan troops, including 17 US Navy SEALS from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (more commonly referred to as SEAL Team 6), were killed in the crash.
Tahir is the second Taliban leader involved in the Chinook shootdown to have been killed during an airstrike. On Aug. 9, a US special operations team killed Mohibullah, the commander who claimed credit for downing the helicopter, along with several of his fighters during a raid in the Chak district in Wardak.
Wardak, which is adjacent to Kabul province, has been the scene of controversy over the past two months. The Taliban are in control of the Tangi Valley following the withdrawal of US forces from Combat Outpost Tangi in April and its subsequent abandonment by Afghan forces. Earlier this month, the Taliban released a propaganda tape that shows hundreds of fighters mustering at the base and senior commanders taking a tour. And on Sept. 10, the Taliban detonated a massive suicide bomb outside of Combat Outpost Sayed Abad, killing four Afghans and wounding more than 100 people, including 77 US soldiers.
ISAF said security forces have “conducted more than 40 security operations in the Sayyidabad district” and “killed 35 insurgents and detained more than 80 suspected insurgents.”
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.