Taliban parades in northern Helmand

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The Afghan Taliban overran an Afghan military base and paraded its troops through the bazaar in Kajaki in northern Helmand province, the jihadist group claimed.

The Taliban made the claim in a video produced by Al Emarah and released on Voice of Jihad, its official propaganda outlet. Images from the video were also compiled by a Taliban-linked Twitter account.

The release, entitled “Azm Operations in Helmand Province, Graveyard of the British Empire,” shows a suicide bombing on an Afghan military checkpoint and a mortar attack on the base in the southern Afghan province. In one scene, several US-made Humvees are used by the Taliban. A Humvee and several weapons were taken as “spoils” from the battle.

After taking over the base, the jihadists then claimed to have taken over large portions of Kajaki. The release shows images of fighters parading through the district, including Kajaki’s bazaar.

The Long War Journal is not able to independently confirm the Taliban’s video, however the security situation in the northern district has steadily deteriorated over the past several months.

Last month, security forces were said to be preparing to retake areas in Kajaki that had previously been lost to the Taliban. However, it was reported last week that the group still controls the main road into the district center.

A Helmand provincial council member told Pajhwok Afghan News that the “Taliban have captured all areas [in Kajaki] and hundreds of foreign militants can be seen roaming the area.” He then said that the district will be under the control of the Taliban completely if the military does not launch a counter-attack.

The battles in Helmand are part of the Taliban’s Azm [steadfast] offensive, which began earlier this year. The fighting that has garnered most of the reporting in the Western press has taken place in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz. The Taliban launched a coordinated offensive to seize control of Kunduz at the end of April. The districts of Imam Sahib, Aliabad, and Qala-i-Zal were overrun in the initial assault. The current status of those districts is unclear, but the Taliban are thought to be in control of Imam Sahib and Aliabad. [See LWJ report, Taliban launch offensive in northern Afghan province.]

The Taliban also claimed to have taken control of Dasht-i-Archi and Chardara district, but one day after making this claim the Afghan government said it still controlled Chardara. To refute the government’s claims, the Taliban released a video showing its forces in Chardara district. [See LWJ report, Taliban refutes government claims of recapturing Chardara district.]

The photos can be seen below:

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Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of The Long War Journal. Caleb Weiss is an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to The Long War Journal.

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8 Comments

  • Paddy Singh says:

    The Taliban forces certainly look more disciplined and smarter than the drug addicted Afghan rag tag army. No comments from either the British or Yankees – still licking their wounds?

  • aryan says:

    Good day gentlemen,
    Also I do believe, solely on my motions, that so called Talibani people are able to purchase arms, ammunition, auto and, especially, personal means of a defense.
    The US (NATO) mission is ongoing both in AF and PK.
    My questions are for further considerations of professionals:-
    1. Where, which source the Talibani people of AF and PK are able to get the military devices and personal defence ammunintion?
    2. Who, which unit, of joint allies are responsible for getting such info?
    3. The US Congress approved more than USD 610 bln for defense a month ago. How this budged had been distributed and directed within the US units based on current operational situation?
    [not, is it a grave stupidity of the political US commanders, to asure the US generals that there are any country (government) which has taken or is able to take a decision to attack a NATO territory?]
    4. What was a reason, for example, to commence operational activity in KSA South, if the AF and PK operational activity is not over? As a result of each operation outside the US is the set up of a democratic government.
    I personally believe that those commanders which invested in Iraqi, PK, KSA South areas military operations made “insufficiant” efforts to prove that the continuation of actios are required in the “past” places by pressing the Republican congressmen.
    5. The US commanders, outside PK and Chad, expl, made almost nothing to involve EU stated either in military actions or to support joint NATO fund based on the previously signed inter state agreements.
    To reffer on Russian military presence far from US is a good public idea for eldery common “population”, not for mil professionals, especially while pursue the different suspects in many different locations all over the world. Ce ya.

  • pbill says:

    Why are we not targeting and bombing them? Seems like a wasted opportunity. We know what they are doing. We did the same thing with Isis and let them parade. I guess Obama respects there first amendment rights. What a joke.

  • mike merlo says:

    no surprise here. Welcome to Mullah Omars Jihadi Heroin Fiefdom & President Obama’s “war of necessity.” No matter ISIS/ISIL wants a cut of the action & is surely already having its presence felt. Thank God or is it Allah for greed. It’s ah helluva nondiscriminatory equalizer. Money loves everybody or is it everybody loves money? Am looking forward to the moment where everybody with an interest, even Karzai, plays lets make a ‘Deal.’ Definitely sooner than later

  • nake says:

    and where were our drons when we need them?

  • Uncle Bunty says:

    Why not take out the Kjaki dam and flood the Arghandab valley? In Marines (Royal and the best kind) couldn’t do it, maybe floodwater can.

  • James Sater says:

    Interesting how all their subtitles are in Arabic. Presumably they are still trying to keep up some illusion that they are a pan-Islamic cause, and not merely the most viable proxy for Pashtun Nationalism.

    • mike merlo says:

      @ James Sater

      excellent ‘point.’ Arabic is the Lingua Franca of The Islamic Internationale or Pan-Islamist’s. However one wishes to ‘phrase it.’

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis