Taliban presses offensive in multiple provinces


The Taliban is sustaining offensive operations throughout Afghanistan as Afghan security forces, backed by US airpower and special forces, continue to struggle with containing the jihadist group.

As the Taliban continues to press Afghan forces in the southern province of Helmand and has effectively laid siege to its capital, Lashkar Gah, the group is assaulting districts in the Afghan north. One district in Baghlan has fell under Taliban control, and another in Nuristan has changed hands several several times

The Taliban claimed yesterday that Dahana-i-Ghuri district in Baghlan province fell “after a three-day long siege,” according to a statement released on Voice of Jihad. “Mujahideen have seized a large number of the combat posts and 4 bases, leaving dozens of the enemy soldiers dead and wounded over the last three days. Similarly, 33 puppets including soldiers of ANA [Afghan National Army], Arbakis [local militias] and police have been taken prisoner through this period of time.”

In the same statement, the Taliban also claimed to seize “control of the district of Want Waygal and 11 combat posts” in Nuristan province.

A member of the provincial capital of Baghlan confirmed that Dahana-i-Ghuri is under Taliban control, Khaama Press reported. Afghan officials claimed to have repelled the Taliban attack, which was supported by “Arabs, and other foreign insurgents,” Pajhwok Afghan News reported. The “Arabs” and “other foreign insurgents” is likely a reference to al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Pakistan. The Haqqani Network, which is closely allied to al Qaeda, operates in Jani Khel and Paktia.

In addition to the fighting in the north, the district of Jani Khel in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan is “on the verge of collapse,” TOLONews reported. “The clashes are still ongoing two kilometers from the center of Janikhel. If supporting troops are not sent into Janikhel as soon as possible, the district will fall into the hands of the Taliban,” the district governor told the Afghan news agency on Aug. 10.

In western Afghanistan, the Taliban laid siege to Pusht Rod district in Farah province, according to reports from Afghanistan.

To the south in Helmand, the Taliban took control of large areas of Nawa-I-Barakzayi district, which borders the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, over the past week and assaulted the district center. Heavy fighting has also been reported in Garmsir district to the south. The Taliban briefly took control of the bazaar in Garmsir but were later repelled by Afghan forces, according to TOLONews.

The Taliban currently controls or contests at least 84 of Afghanistan’s 400 plus districts, according to a study by The Long War Journal: with 40 estimated to be Taliban controlled and 44 contested. The number of controlled and contested districts is likely to be higher as reports from some districts known to be Taliban strongholds are unavailable. The Long War Journal only tallies districts that can be confirmed with independent reporting.

As the Taliban presses its nationwide offensive, it continues to reconcile with wayward groups that broke away after the controversy surrounding the death of Mullah Omar. Last week, leaders from the Mullah Dadullah Front as well as Mullah Baz Mohammad have returned to the Taliban fold, further strengthening the group and its ability to sustain its offensive.

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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  • Bob Marlowe says:

    Waiting for comments

  • irebukeu says:

    Every US base should be renamed Camp Xenophon and given a number designation. The entire operation should be renamed “Operation Anabasis”.
    This is not going to end well for the western coalition (meaning just the United States, as everyone else will bail before the end and rightly so) if we just keep feeding the meat grinder that is this craggy maleventum.
    From the Rube Goldberg supply chains that deliver gasoline for 400 dollars per gallon and water to distant outposts, to the graft, corruption, child molestation and revenge zero-sum culture that we feed and protect, this is just not a place for us.
    Let’s get ready to head on out. Cut-n-run as some call it. Call it whatever anyone wants-let’s just get it done.
    We were supposed to be out of this hell hole back in 2014.
    Joe Biden in 2010 “we’re going to be totally out of there, come hell or high water, by 2014”.
    I don’t see the high water, so it’s not a waterhole.

  • rodie miller says:

    I’ve spent few years in Afghanistan already but every year the situation is worse and worse. Look at the tight leash around some provincial capitals: Pol-e Khumri, Kunduz, Maymana, Lashkar Gah, Tirin Kot….Some of them may fall this year, some of them the next one. The situation with pro-governmental militias in North and North-East is also bringing Afghanistan back into soviet occupation era, they fight each other, they very often terrorise the civilicians. The country (meaning Government as it is now) won’t survive too long. At least IEA are changing their past hardcore rules a bit…

  • Frank Dunn says:

    Speaking directly from his golf cart on Martha’s Vineyard, Obama instructed the 9,000+ US troops in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban in the hills, in the villages and even door to door in Kabul until at least November 9th and ideally, after the January inaugural. “I will lose by Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to me to embarrass Bush, if Kabul falls before I leave office. I don’t want to give the $1.4 million prize back to the Swedes.”

    Next US president inherits Obama’s unauthorized wars in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq plus a collapsing Afghanistan and real threats from Russia in Eastern Europe. All with a badly weakened military that is more concerned with transgender inclusion than war.

  • Shawn says:

    This can’t be a surprise. So tired of hearing people talk about ending Islamic terrorism. There is no end game here. It’s not WW2 where there are front lines and people in uniform to fight; you’re not going to get to punch a Nazi in the face. The American public needs to understand that the issue is not going away and our leadership needs to be able to explain that. When it comes to Afghanistan Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great and Russia was unable to conquer it. What makes our leadership think we can? The only realistic possibility is to continue to kill them at as high as a rate as possible. It’s going to cost a boat load of money and American lives, that’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth.

  • Don Bacon says:

    No real mention of Afghanistan in the current political campaign. Nobody cares about the ‘good war’ any longer? Chalk up another US foreign policy mistake.

  • Victoria Martin-Iverson says:

    I am interested in any updated information on Arjistan district in Ghazni province and current Taliban or ISIS activity.


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