In Afghan north, soldiers surrender to Taliban after base is cut off

More than 40 Afghan soldiers surrendered to the Taliban after their base in the northern province of Faryab was besieged for 48 hours. At least 43 soldiers were killed and 17 more were captured in the fighting that led up to the surrender, yet another indication that the Taliban is routinely outmatching Afghan forces in battles in remote districts.

The Taliban surrounded the Afghan base, known as Chenayeeha in the contested district of Ghormach, and cut the troops off from resupply, according to TOLONews.

“According to local officials, over 40 security force members have surrendered to the Taliban after they received no help nor ammunition supplies despite repeated requests,” the Afghan news agency reported.

The Taliban, in an official statement released on Voice of Jihad, claimed that the Afghan soldiers who surrendered subsequently joined “the Mujahideen.”

“[A]ll the gunmen inside the base with a total number of 57 have laid arms before Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate overnight, handing over 8 tanks, 2 Dshk guns, 2 mortar tubes along with several other rifles and ammunition to Mujahideen,” the group claimed. The “tanks” are likely US-supplied up-armored Humvees. According to the Taliban, 43 Afghan soldiers were killed and 17 more were captured before the remaining soldiers surrendered.

“Mujahideen are happy as the rest 57 have laid arms and save their lives,” the Taliban proclaimed.

Incidents such as these have become all too common in Afghanistan. Just last weekend, the Taliban destroyed a company of Afghan Army Commandos in Ajristan. The Taliban has become adept at cutting off bases in outlying districts and besieging them for days before overrunning them. The Afghan military often is incapable of mustering forces to relieve the beleaguered troops resupplying the bases to keep the troops in the fight.

Afghan and Coalition forces almost always refrain from targeting the Taliban after they overrun military outposts and bases. Instead, the Taliban is allowed to loiter at their captured bases and celebrate their victories in broad daylight, without fear of being targeted. [See LWJ report, Analysis: Coalition and Afghan forces must target Taliban after overrunning bases.]

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

2 Comments

  • Barbara Vandewalle says:

    Afghan and Coalition forces almost always refrain from targeting the Taliban after they overrun military outposts and bases. Instead, the Taliban is allowed to loiter at their captured bases and celebrate their victories in broad daylight, without fear of being targeted.

    Sounds like Vietnam. The military was ordered not to bomb certain areas in N Vietnam. Politicians should not be allowed to fight a war.

    • irebukeu says:

      If the military was to be left to run the wars, then America would exist only to fight wars. We would be fighting the Soviets under Patton, China under McArthur and would still be looking for tunnels in North Vietnam under Westmoreland.
      “War is too serious a business to be left to the generals”.

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