Taliban promotes gains in remote Kandahar district


The Taliban released a video of its fighters proudly displaying a captured US HUMVEE and other weapons seized after the group raided an Afghan military outpost in the remote district of Shorabak in Kandahar province.

In the recently released Taliban video entitled “Jihadic Triumphs of Shorabak,” dozens of Taliban fighters flaunted weapons seized during an assault on a hilltop base in the district. The video is similar to others produced by the Taliban that highlights the group’s battlefield gains against overstretched Afghan forces.

FDD’s Long War Journal assesses Shorabak as one of 45 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts that are currently under Taliban control.

In Oct. 2015, the US military raided two al Qaeda camps in Shorabak and killed more than 150 fighters. The outgoing commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, said that one of the camps in Shorabak, which encompassed 30 square miles, was the largest in Afghanistan since the US invaded in 2001.

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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  • Ted Hitchcock says:

    Thanks for that! Neither Western nor Afghan media had mentioned the loss of Shorabak. But they are intent on the tallies of districts control or contested that you keep:

    “[General John Nicholson,] the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, said on Monday he believes he could help Afghan forces drive back the Taliban enough to control at least 80 percent of the country within two years, compared with about two-thirds today.” (Reuters 11/20/17).

    Unfortunately, we may not be able to tell whether he is making progress toward that goal. The official control percentage figures come to from USFOR-Afghansitan, via SIGAR’s quarterly reports to Congress. After embarrassing Afghan and American bureaucrats and contractors for years, SIGAR is getting some pushback. As the LWJ has noted, the military has already stopped providing SIGAR with enlistment statistics and other measures of Afghan military performance.

    Calling him “The Donald Trump of Inspectors General”, a Politico reporter, Nahal Toosi, is going after SIGAR’s chief, John Sopko, for “making bombastic claims about waste, fraud and abuse”. “Officials at the State, USAID and the Pentagon” she wrote, “have long complained that Sopko paints a misleading portrait of much of their work and that he aggressively uses the media along the way.” (Defense bill leashes Afghanistan watchdog, Politico, 11/17/17).

    A provision tucked into last week’s National Defense Authorization Act will wrap some red tape around SIGAR’s hands by prohibiting reporting from it that doesn’t “conform to strict government auditing and inspection standards.”

    So please keep up your efforts to track which districts are controlled or contested, Bill, they may end up as the only numbers we have to judge Nickolson’s progress.

  • irebukeu says:

    Little heavy on the RPG’s there. Whats with the young guy leaning on the hood? He seems almost unattached to the events. He doesn’t seem impressed.


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