Taliban video documents takeover of district center in Kunar

In a recently released video, the Taliban highlighted its fighters overrunning the Chapa Dara district center in Kunar province. While the date of the attack was not disclosed, it likely took place in May, when the Taliban launched an offensive in multiple areas throughout Kunar.

The video, which is titled ‘Caravan of Heroes 13’ and was published on Aug. 28, was produced by Manba al Jihad Studio, “an official media wing of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Commission for Cultural Affairs Audio and Visual Sector” according to the accompanying statement announcing the release of the video.

In the video, the Taliban show its fighters bombarding the district center from the surrounding mountains and overrunning remote outposts. The video depicts several direct hits on the buildings. At least a dozen Afghan soldiers were killed in the attack, but those images have been edited out of the video clip. The Taliban also flaunted the US supplied HUMVEEs, weapons, ammunition, and other war materials seized in the assault.

As with previous videos reported on by FDD’s Long War Journal, the Taliban was able to organize and launch its attack, and then subsequently overrun Afghan government-controlled headquarters in broad daylight without fear of being targeted by Afghan or coalition forces – both on the ground or in the air.

The Taliban did not previously announce that its forces overran Chapa Dara, however the video provides direct evidence that it did indeed happen. As of July 3, 2017, the Taliban does not claim to control Chapa Dara, but maintains it is contested.

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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5 Comments

  • Glenn says:

    What do you think is going on? Kissingerian pact with the Taliban? Bribes/threats at highest levels? Snepp decent interval slow bleed? And we’re sending more troops for what? Your reports, always excellent, make my blood alternately boil and run cold.

  • James says:

    In my own honest to goodness opinion and assessment, there is no simple military solution to what is going on inside Afghanistan. Because the problem isn’t primarily a military one in the first place. Although it is a good thing that Trump has doubled-down on the military effort. At least this will give us some more time to come up with a much-better game plan.

    What’s needed, I feel, is a game-changer (i.e., a change of strategy). I say again, go after their opium trade, CIA. No need to destroy it. Just control it. Like a puppet, pull the strings. There is most likely an intelligence bonanza to be gotten CIA, once you have discovered (and traced) the inner workings of their opium networks.

    Want to put them on the defensive, CIA? Go after their opium trade. Probably everything you need to know about the Taliban (and then some) can be discovered; and probably also a significant intel bonanza can be gotten on AQ.

  • Evo says:

    @ bill, I forsee you writing headlines, like “Trump orders rapid withdrawal”.

    Around the reelection campaign.

  • AG says:

    Wasting our time with surge 2.0 and the “new” strategy… This fight illustrates one day the district is in Taliban control, then we and the Afghans retake and hold the district center for about 6 months, then loose it again because the Afghans are unwilling to fight.

    This fight a best was executed by about 30-40 insurgents. What probably would have helped would be an AC-130 or A-10 to come on station after the district center was over run with the mission to kill everyone identified with a weapon.

  • baba says:

    There is no military solution in Afghanistan at all. As long as there are no political parties, no political leaders and only local militia leaders we cannot expect any thing. They are constantly fighting amongst themselves to worry about their country. Defections in the afghan army are routine and they are now joining ISIS there. The opium production is booming with no check by the US.

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