Taliban overruns military base in Uruzgan

The Taliban flag flies over the "Khushdeer" base in Chora district, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. Image from Voice of Jihad.

The Taliban flag flies over the “Khushdeer” base in Chora district, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. Image from Voice of Jihad.

The Taliban took control of a military base in the embattled southern province of Uruzgan, where the group has recently laid siege to the capital of Tarin Kot.

The jihadist group claimed it took control of the “strategic military base in Khushdeer” and two others in Chora district after Afghan troops were surrounded and then subsequently “fled towards the district center.”

In a statement released on its website, Voice of Jihad, the Taliban showed a picture of the base with the Taliban’s flag flying over it.

On Twitter, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid then released a video of an interview of fighters from the base (video is below). Like the recent ambush in Helmand’s capital, the Taliban fighters clearly are not concerned about either an Afghan Army counterattack or airstrikes. The interview takes place in broad daylight, hours after the base was overrun (the Taliban claimed the Afghan troops fled during the nighttime).

Uruzgan has been hotly contested for more than a year. Of the province’s six districts, one, Char Chino, is under Taliban control, and the remaining five are heavily contested. The Taliban seized Char Chino in June 2016 after Afghan forces conducted a tactical retreat.

The Taliban considers Uruzgan to be a strategic province, and has previously said that it controls all areas of the province except for the district centers.

In a Voice of Jihad interview in April 2016 with Mullah Aminullah Yousuf, the Taliban’s shadow governor for Uruzgan, he described the province as “the linking point for many provinces” and a traditional “strong fortress of mujahideen.” [See LWJ report, Taliban seizes a district in Uruzgan.]

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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9 Comments

  • loner McDonald says:

    I think the Afghanistan Army needs to pull its self together and stop running away every time they come under attack. they need to stand together and become a fighting force. if they dont their country will fall again. if it does fall again its the coward Afghanistan Army’s own fault. loner

  • bernard karpf says:

    We don’t know if they are cowards.

    It might just be they are don’t have a nationalistic philosophy. They may just be fighting to obtain a paycheck.

    It appears that w/out the assistance of the USA – the country would fall to the Taliban once again. I am wondering just HOW strong the Taliban presence really is..

  • Mike Smith says:

    loner McDonald: And what exactly would make them do that? Men fight for four reasons: Comradeship (“The man on your left and the man on your right”), a cause they believe in, fear of shame or disgrace back home if they desert, and money. The Afghan Army has precisely none of these motivations to fight. The man on the left and right deserted yesterday, no one in Afghanistan wants to die for Ghani’s illegitimate hot mess of a government, there is no disgrace to deserting, there’s not even any penalty for it, and they don’t get paid as much as a civilian car mechanic. So what exactly would make them do what you said?

  • Philip Arlington says:

    If the West hadn’t invaded Afghanistan the Taliban might have fallen by now and if it hadn’t it would be losing its zeal as its leaders aged and it came to be dominated by men who joined for careerist rather than ideological reasons.

    The West’s policy of belligerence towards Islam abroad and cultural appeasement at home is a colossal disaster and there is no reason to expect more of the same to produce better results in the future. We need to switch to disengagement abroad and the assertion of what one used to be able to call Western values without embarrassment at home.

  • Frankie says:

    Wow. Great job on verifying this with other sources…

  • pollewol says:

    Would you fight for a corrupt regime, mr. Loner? I am afraid that this is the problem. Afgan soldiers are not paid properly and not properly fed.

  • Adam Drowne says:

    Ioner McDonald – While personally I largely agree with you, the challenge moving forward will be to develop the confidence on the people in the military, and the majority of Afghan people really, that their country will “win in the end”. People will often support the side they fell will win in the end, at the moment a large portion of the Afghan population does not have that level of confidence.

  • The Donald says:

    Most of the Afghan Army is just there for a paycheck. Ioner simply needs to look at how the Taliban made significant progress is the home turf for the old Northern Alliance. Areas like few years ago were considered safe. The Afghans who support do so mainly for the $$. If Hazara’s are supporting the Taliban (which it seems like is the case) then the Afghan government have dug themselves into a whole which no one can dig them out of.

    It’s like looking more and more like the Afghanistan under the Soviets.

    • Mike Smith says:

      The Hazaras are Shi’a Muslims. When the Deobandi Sunni Taliban was in power 1996-2001, they massacred at least 200,000 Hazaras for the crime of being Shi’as. The Hazara are not supporting the Taliban. That would be like Jews supporting Nazis in Germany in 1939.

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