As Taliban enters Farah City, Resolute Support wrongly claims Afghan government is in control

As the Taliban entered Farah City and seized control of government buildings, police and intelligence headquarters, and the main square, Resolute Support – NATO’s command in Afghanistan – insisted that the Afghan government remained in full control of the city. Video evidence emerging from the city painted a different picture, one of Taliban fighters patrolling areas of the city, seizing weapons, and in control of government buildings.

Several hours after Taliban fighters attacked the provincial capital of Farah, Resolute Support claimed that “Farah city remains under govt. control” and US Air Force A-10s were supporting the operation.

Jeff Schogol from Task & Purpose then reported that the A-10s are not striking the Taliban in Farah City, but are flying ‘show of force’ missions. This means that the A-10s are flying close to the Taliban but are not attacking.

Meanwhile, a series of videos published yesterday by Ahmet Yar, a self-proclaimed freelance “journalist” with a special focus on the Taliban, showed Taliban fighters operating in several areas of the city. While Yar is at best a Taliban sympathizer and at worst an active Taliban propagandist, the videos published on his Twitter feed cannot be dismissed out of hand. The videos rebuked Resolute Support’s claim that the Afghan government alone is in full control of Farah City.

One video showed the Taliban emptying containers filled with weapons and ammunitions:

Another showed Taliban fighters touring the a police headquarters:

In this video, Taliban fighters freely walked the streets of Farah City:

And in this video, Taliban fighters occupied Farah City’s main square:

Resolute Support is no stranger to distorting the facts when the Taliban scores a battlefield victory. For instance, in the fall of 2016, Resolute Support maintained that the Afghan government controlled Kunduz City when the Taliban clearly controlled half of it. During that same time period, Resolute Support insisted that Nawa district in Helmand province was under government control while Afghan forces were holed up in a few buildings in the district center, surrounded by Taliban fighters.

Perhaps the most deceiving Resolute Support statement occurred in March 2017, when the Taliban overran the Sangin district center in Helmand province. Afghan forces had to be evacuated by air under the cover of night to avoid being slaughtered. Resolute Support tried to spin the loss of Sangin as a victory. In reality, US aircraft leveled Sangin’s district center after evacuating defeated Afghan forces.

Resolute Support would have been better served saying nothing rather than making demonstrably false claims that the Afghan government is in control of Farah City. Statements such as these from Resolute Support only serve to further erode support for the mission in Afghanistan.

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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2 Comments

  • Paddy Singh says:

    American propaganda is geared basically for home consumption where the powers that be can claim anything. The fact is Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syris etc are all lost causes and defeat for the supposedly strongest power in the world

  • pre-Boomer Marine brat says:

    Let me guess. Resolute Support has hired Baghdad Bob?

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