Taliban claims it seizes 2 Afghan districts

After entering Farah City and then subsequently retreating, after seizing weapons and other war materials, the Taliban claimed it took control of two districts, one in Badghis province and another in Ghazni.

In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban said it took control of “Dara Boom district center, police headquarter and all the defensive check posts” in Badghis province after the “enemy fled.” Additionally, the Taliban claimed it overran the Jaghatu district in Ghazni province “after an intense gunfight of heavy and light arms.” The statement also said Taliban fighters captured “a sizable amount of war spoils” in Jaghatu.

While neither claim can be independently confirmed in the Afghan press, the Taliban has been credible when it says it takes control of a district. There have been no reports of the Taliban taking “Dara Boom,” which appears to be Muqur district. Resolute Support assessed Muqur as contested, as recently as Jan. 31. LWJ has also assessed this district as contested.

Recently, there have been reports of heavy fighting in the districts of Jaghatu and Dara Khan in Ghazni. From TOLONews:

The clashes started on Tuesday night after dozens of Taliban insurgents attacked Zana Khan and Jaghato districts of the province, a member of the provincial council Hussain Reza Yousufi said.

He claimed that 13 security forces, mostly police, were killed in Zana Khan and nine police were killed in Jaghato, adding that “heavy clashes are still ongoing in the district since last night and the Taliban insurgents have also suffered heavy casualties.”

Resolute Support assessed Jaghatu as “government influenced” as recently as Jan. 31. LWJ did not have information available to properly assess the district.

The Taliban has overrun five districts since it announced the beginning of its 2018 offensive. The Afghan government claimed it recaptured two of them, however the Taliban refutes the government’s assertions.

LWJ assesses that the Taliban controls at least 40 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, and contests another 203. See Mapping Taliban Control in Afghanistan for more information.

Correction: Dara Boom was initially identified as Bala Murghab district, however it is Muqur district. The article was updated to reflect the change.

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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1 Comment

  • Nick Mastrovito says:

    This is bad. Would expect a reaction from the ANA/ANP & Resolute Support. Ultimately, the GoA needs to decide how to win the peace. Taliban has a long way to go to have a majority influence but they cannot be ignored or sloughed off as a JV threat. Unfortunately, until the people speak, GoA will have only a slight grasp on Afghanistan. And with threats on all of its borders, don’t expect the Taliban or ISIS-K to go away anytime soon.

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