Taliban fighters loot the Deh Yak district center in Ghazni province on Aug. 11. In what has become a recurring theme, the Taliban fighters are loitering in broad daylight without fear of reprisal. Video from Voice of Jihad. pic.twitter.com/sd7IDrQi81
— Bill Roggio (@billroggio) August 18, 2018
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.]