Remote district in northwestern Afghanistan falls to the Taliban

While much of the reporting from Afghanistan has been focusing on Taliban offensives in Kunduz and Helmand, the jihadist group has been active in other areas of the country. Both Taliban and Afghan officials said that the district of Ghormach in Faryab province has fallen to the jihadist group over the past 24 hours. From the Taliban statement at Voice of Jihad:

At around 8:00 pm local time on Monday heroic Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate launched coordinated attacks on Ghormach district administration center, police station and other installation.

Attacks of heavy and light arms left the district administration center, police HQ and other installations completely overrun, inflecting serious casualties to enemy, the details of which will be updated later.

According to Afghan officials, Afghan forces abandoned the district’s administrative center. From Khaama Press:

The Taliban militants have captured Ghormach district in northern Faryba [sic] province of Afghanistan, local officials said Tuesday.

The officials further added that the control of the district fell to Taliban after the Afghan security forces retreated from the area.

A provincial council member Syed Abdul Baqi Hashemi confirmed the Taliban militants captured the district after heavy clashes with the security forces.

Ghormach has changed hands before. In October 2015, the Taliban seized the district center and held it for a week before Afghan forces regained control. The district has been contested ever since.

The situation in Ghormach is not unique in Afghanistan. Scores of districts routinely switch between the Taliban and Afghan forces, which are struggling to fight the group on multiple fronts. The Washington Post noted last week that Afghan commandos, who have been trained to hunt jihadists leaders, have been pressed into service as regular infantryman and are fighting the battles that regular Afghan units can’t or won’t fight. The Afghan commandos are in short supply, and once they retake a district, they are redeployed to put out the next Taliban fire. The Taliban then moves back into the areas liberated by the commandos. This pattern erodes the legitimacy of both the Afghan government and its security forces.

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

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.

Tags: ,


  • Evan says:

    I’ve asked before, I’ll ask again, and the question isn’t directed at LWJ, or any of its contributors.
    Really, it’s a question I would love to ask the President, the Joint Chiefs, pretty much anyone and everyone that’s involved in this debacle….

    What’s the plan here guys?
    What the hell are we doing here?
    Are we fighting this war to win? If the answer is no, then every single US service member in Af/Pak, should come home, right now.
    This conflict makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. In 15 years of war we haven’t accomplished what we set out to do, we haven’t destroyed AQ, they’ve grown, and they control more territory now than ever before. We haven’t destroyed the Taliban, they’re being sheltered and provided with safe havens and much more, by the Pakistani gov’t. We haven’t accomplished ANYTHING, not because the military hasn’t put foot to ass constantly, because they have. Not because we aren’t capable or willing, because we are. This effort has failed miserably because of the incompetent, inept, irresponsible politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who literally could not care less about the men and women that serve this nation. Their sacrifices were made in vain. The struggles and hardships and unbelievable pain that so many of us continue to go through to this day, isn’t worth the politicians spit, and they’ve continuously proven it time and time again.

  • Thomas F Barton says:

    Reuters Reports Taliban Took Kunduz “A Week Ago”

    “Afghans Who Have Fled Fighting In The Northern City Of Kunduz Since It Fell To The Taliban A Week Ago Are Suffering”
    “Afghan Forces Have Been Battling To Drive Taliban Fighters From The City”

    Oct 10, 2016 By Zabihullah Noori, Thomson Reuters Foundation

    LONDON – Afghans who have fled fighting in the northern city of Kunduz since it fell to the Taliban a week ago are suffering dire conditions with host families already living in poverty, aid agencies and residents said on Monday.

    Afghan forces have been battling to drive Taliban fighters from the city which the insurgents entered unexpectedly at the start of last week.

    Most people had no chance to take any belongings with them, said Geeta Bashardost, a women’s rights activist from Kunduz who fled to the capital, Kabul.

    “I fled Kunduz on the first day of fighting, but all my family is back in the city under the rockets and mortar shells of Taliban and government forces,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

    The United Nations said on Thursday that as many as 10,000 refugees had arrived in Kabul and northern towns including Taloqan and Mazar-i-Sharif.

    Afghanistan already has more than 1.2 million internal refugees, with some 260,000 forced to flee their homes across the country this year as the fighting has continued.

    “The primary need (of the displaced) is food and clothes, as most of their host families are not in a good economic condition,” said Abdul Rahim Qayoumi, head of Afghan Red Crescent Society in the northern province of Baghlan.

    He said his organisation had not begun to offer assistance because the logistics were not yet in place.

    In Baghlan’s Pul-e-Khumri city, Noorullah Shokori, a florist from Kunduz, said he had escaped the city with his wife and five children.

    “The people live a very miserable life here. Up to five families live in one rented house of two rooms,” Shokori said by phone.

    “If the government does not act swiftly to clear up Kunduz from the Taliban and end the fighting, winter and cold weather will kill a lot more Kunduzi people than the Taliban.”

    Mustafa Qudos, the deputy police chief of Takhar province said the provincial governor had appealed to residents and businesses to help the displaced people.

    “Ordinary farmers baked bread at home and distributed to the Kunduz IDPs (internally displaced people) in Takhar, some people took them into their homes, university students raised funds to buy tents and food,” he said.

  • Walter wosicki says:

    Instead of listing body counts why will they not post how much territory we have lost or gained to the Taliban each week or month.

  • dennis says:

    At this moment in time it is difficult not to draw parallel conclusions to past conflicts. So knowing this, wouldn’t you think the plans would be either fight like hell to ‘win’ , or beat a hasty redeployment of forces? There is absolutely NOTHING of value there. No one to make treaties with, they’re all corrupt. Other than to be on Iran’s eastern border, which for the most part is desolate. Either fight or bring them back and let them kill each other for decades.

  • Nick Epshtien says:

    If the Americans can’t or won’t help the Afghans then perhaps this job can be sourced out to the scourge of the intelligence community namely the notorious Pakistan ISI they are feckless enough to have disgruntled ex taliban working for global peace.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram