Senior Taliban commanders killed in northern Afghanistan

An ongoing Afghan-led security operation in northern Jawzjan province has killed at least 18 Taliban fighters, including several top commanders, since fierce clashes broke out on July 6. Both Afghan and Coalition forces are taking part in the operation, which has so far focused on Taliban positions in Faizabad district in Jawzjan province and Dawlatabad district in Balkh province.

Details on some of the Taliban leaders killed were reported by Khaama Press:

Local security officials said the militants were killed during military operations conducted on Saturday in Faizabad district.

The officials further added at least 7 Taliban militants were also injured and 9 others were arrested along with the weapons and explosives.

In the meantime provincial security chief Gen. Syed Zamanuddin Hussaini said three high level Taliban leaders including Sadruddin Ishan, Mawlavi Ismail and Syed Hashim were also killed along with ten other militants during the operations which was backed by close air support.

Local residents in Koh Kaldash area also confirmed the death of senior Taliban leader Sadruddin [Ishan] Shah and said that he was involved behind attack on Afghan national directorate of security (NDS) forces last year, which left 10 intelligence officers dead.

Importantly, among those killed were the Taliban-designated provincial shadow deputy governors for Jawzjan and Balkh (Mullah Ahmad Shah and Mullah Ismail), according Afghan National Army (ANA) commander Jagran Merza, who spoke with Ariana News.

The weekend assault against Taliban positions in northern Afghanistan also included a separate operation in nearby Faryab province, which also killed two prominent Taliban field commanders.

Further details of the Faryab operation were provided by Ariana News:

Two senior members of the Taliban militant group were killed during an operation of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the Qaisar district of northwestern Faryab, officials said Sunday.

Mullah Baran and Mullah Salam were the two senior Taliban commanders who had the responsibility of organizing attacks in the province, Faryab Police Chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhail said.

The two militant commanders were killed during the clashes with the security forces after they attacked the Shakh village of Qaisar district.

Two Afghan police soldiers were also wounded in these clashes, the police chief said.

The killing of two Taliban deputy shadow governors in Jawzjan marks the fifth time that Taliban-designated shadow administrators have been killed since June.

On June 29, Afghan security forces killed Mullah Fatiullah, the district shadow governor for the Kashrud-Chakhansour districts of Nimroz province. [See Threat Matrix report, Taliban shadow district governor killed in Nimroz province.]

On June 13, a joint Afghan and Coalition night raid in northern Kunduz province left seven militants dead, including the Taliban’s shadow governor for the Dasht-e-Archi district, Qari Mohammad Halim. [See Threat Matrix report, Taliban shadow district governor killed in Afghan security operation.]

And on June 8, a senior Taliban commander and acting shadow district chief for the Narai district in Kunar province was reportedly gunned down during a dispute among local Taliban militants, according to Pajhwok Afghan News.

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  • Green76 says:

    Looks like some effective operations are taking place. I see this is an Afghan led security operation. Are the Afghans identifying targets and planning operations or are ISAF forces doing this with Afghans leading the charge?

  • mike merlo says:

    The ANA & other ‘elements’ of the Afghan Security Infrastructure continue to demonstrate an increasing level of competence & sophistication. Hopefully the 2015 US ‘Stay Behind’ Forces are ‘Equal To The Task’ of providing the ‘above mentioned’ Afghan Infrastructure the necessary equipment & technical support required by the Afghan Security Forces to continue serving the Afghanistans’ needs

  • Moose says:

    I would have never guessed at the start of this conflict that the Taliban would have established a foothold in the northern provinces. A different ethnic group with memories of what the Taliban did there pre-9/11, and a guy like Dostum in control, rendered the chances of that extremely low in my estimation. It’s still unclear to me how it happened.
    On another note, how trustworthy do you guys think ANA reports are now that ISAF isn’t releasing the info?

  • sundoesntrise says:

    Moose, there are Pashtun pockets in northern Afghanistan. In 2001, the Northern Alliance led by Dostum destroyed many areas that Pashtuns lived in for revenge against the Taliban’s rule. In around 2007/08/09, the Taliban slowly crept back into the area and not only were they welcomed by the Pashtun pockets, but the IMU were there as well and they established a connection with the Uzbeks living in the North.

  • mike merlo says:

    “On another note, how trustworthy do you guys think ANA reports are now that ISAF isn’t releasing the info?”
    I wouldn’t go so far as to characterize future ANA or Afghan Government reporting as “untrustworthy,” but I strongly believe that the aforementioned will release or make available information that supports a desired ‘narrative.’
    I’m also sure we can expect the Afghan Security Apparatus to adopt a much more aggressive, less tolerant, ruthless ‘approach’ when dealing with insurgents particularly those that are non Afghan. Afghanistan’s Security Apparatus will almost immediately upon our departure come to resemble those of their ‘neighbors;’ Central Asia, Pakistan & Iran.

  • Moose says:

    Pashtuns are a small minority in these areas so I figured they wouldn’t want to provoke Uzbek retaliation by siding with the Taliban. Dostum could easily find any Taliban (or IMU) and put their heads on a pike as a warning to others. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Taliban pay Dostum under the table to operate in the north as long as they only attack the government. Damn the bandit mentality.


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