Taliban fighters loot district center in Ghazni

With all eyes focused on their coordinated assault on Ghazni City on Aug. 10, the Taliban never took their foot off the gas in launching attacks on several districts across Ghazni province. Five districts fell to the Taliban between Aug. 11-14. The Taliban released video of their fighters looting the Deh Yak district center and celebrated their victory. In what has become an all too familiar scene, the fighters did so in broad daylight, without fear of reprisal.

On Aug. 16, the Taliban released a video entitled “Conquest of Dih Yak” on its official propaganda website, Voice of Jihad. In the video, the Taliban fighters roamed the captured administrative seat of Deh Yak, raised their flag over the buildings and communications towers, and looted the buildings and storage containers. Also, a Taliban commander gave a lengthy speech on the steps of a building.

All of this was done during the daytime. The Taliban fighters were clearly not concerned about being targeted in an airstrike. At the time, the Afghan military and Resolute Support, NATO’s command in Afghanistan, were busy fighting Taliban fighters in the provincial capital of Ghazni City.

The events in Dih Yak are far from an isolated incident. This has been repeated numerous times in many other districts over the past several years as the Taliban routinely overruns district centers and celebrates its victories with speeches and the display of weapons and prisoners, all without being targeted. This has been documented by FDD’s Long War Journal. [See LWJ report, Analysis: Coalition and Afghan forces must target Taliban after overrunning bases.]

The Taliban overran the districts of Dih Yak, Ajristan, Khwaja Umari, Nawur, and Jaghatu as its fighters challenged the Afghan government for control of Ghazni City. The Taliban currently controls 10 of Ghazni’s 19 districts, and contests six more. [See LWJ report, Resolute Support obscures status of 7 Ghazni districts as 3 more fall to Taliban.]

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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  • Mark Matis says:

    Heh. One might mistake them for the “urban youfs” in any major hive in the US!

  • Nick Mastrovito says:

    Hmm…it’s juat shows how inept at planning the ANA/ANP are. 17 yrs and they have learned much. We should have taught them how to be guerilla fighters! We should withdraw and repeat 2001 again in a year!

  • AndyS says:

    Where are you going to find another Northern Alliance to do the actual fighting for you? The whole country despise you now, you are thoroughly beaten, go home and stay there, or you will just get beaten again.

  • Sid Finster says:

    Too bad that the ANA/ANP can’t call on anyone to help them with strategy, planning, training, logistics, air support, or anything like that.

    Oh wait….

    Meanwhile, let us know how you’re going to train Afghanis to be guerrilla fighters.

  • Nervensage says:

    Any time this occurs, the ANA/American air power needs to target the Taliban on the ground. They appear easy targets. Attrition. Start now.


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