Taliban video shows fighters on captured Afghan base in Baghlan

The Taliban released video of the aftermath of its fighters overrunning the Allahuddin military base in Baghlan-e Markazi district, Baghlan province. The Taliban seized control of the base on Aug. 14, even as its forces were engaged in a battle over the provincial capital of Ghazni in eastern Afghanistan and was fighting on many other fronts.

At least 36 Afghan National Army soldiers and nine Afghan Local Policemen were killed in the attack. The Taliban surrounded the base and besieged the Afghan security personnel before storming it in a nightime assault. [See LWJ report, Taliban overruns another base in north as it withdraws from Ghazni City.]

The video was released today on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website. Like many other similar Taliban videos that show the aftermath of successful assaults on military bases and outposts, the Taliban fighters are seen walking throughout the base in broad daylight, without fear of being targeted by Afghan or Resolute Support aircraft. Scores of heavily armed Taliban fighters casually walked around the compound or stood still. Taliban fighters displayed the military vehicles, heavy weapons, small arms, and ammunition looted during the raid. Additionally, the Taliban filmed the bodies of Afghan security personnel who were killed (LWJ has edited these images out of the videos).

The attack on the Allahuddin military base garnered far less attention than a similar assault by the Taliban on a base in Faryab province. At least 43 soldiers were killed and 17 more were captured in that attack, and the remaining 40 troops stationed there surrendered to the Taliban after the Afghan military failed to send supplies and reinforcements.

Attacks on military bases such as the ones in Faryab and Baghlan have become all too common in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters have not paid a price for loitering and celebrating on captured bases as the Afghan military and Resolute Support are either unwilling or unable to launch airstrikes. [See LWJ report, Analysis: Coalition and Afghan forces must target Taliban after overrunning bases, from 2017.]

Resolute Support, NATO’s command in Afghanistan, is recommending that the Afghan military withdraw from more remote outposts, however this would cede more ground to the Taliban, which in turn leverages these areas to launch attacks on major Afghan population centers.

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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7 Comments

  • Murad Badshah says:

    Thats great. Taliban’s improvement is amazing. The way they they fight and carry out their operations is praiseworthy. Without any formal training Taliban are beating US trained Afghan army so easily. Thats the result of 17 years of military experience.
    Thank you America.

  • Paddy Singh says:

    This article should be sent to the Commander of Resolute Force, Gen Nicholson. Maybe he will acknowledge the truth rather than do a take on Gen. Westmoreland of Vietnam fame.

  • James says:

    This just appalls me. While those Afghan troops were needlessly being slaughtered, the Afghan gov’t did nothing. To me, that is nothing short of being outright treasonous or at the very least a dereliction of duty. Why couldn’t we at least air drop supplies and ammunition to them? This will serve as a propaganda coup for our enemies with global ramifications.

    AQ and the Taliban are one and the same. AQ and the Taliban are synonymous terms. Inside Afghanistan AQ becomes the Taliban. Outside Afghanistan the Taliban becomes AQ. They are the same chameleon lizard showing different colors. Why won’t the gullible and/or pusillanimous ones among us see this for the reality that it in fact is?

  • hank says:

    now you know where they are now carpet bomb them!

  • James says:

    The first video looks like it’s out in the middle of the desert somewhere in a nomad’s land.

    Bill, also, it looks to me like quite possibly a dust storm was occurring higher in the air along the horizon. Might this be why they knew they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) be targeted by coalition airstrikes? I see absolutely no (so-called ‘innocent’) civilians in the films. A few strategically put cruise missiles or 500 pound bombs should have flattened the whole occupied area(s).

    The base is a stationary target. They should know exactly where it is and where everything inside it is with exact GPS coordinates glaring them in the face. No need to look first or establish a visual of the target(s) beforehand.

    It should have been converted to a graveyard (for the Taliban) in short order.

    We should ask them (RS and the legit Afghan gov’t): What’s the problem?

    • Bill Roggio says:

      I have been asking this question for years. This is why I publish the videos, and have been doing so for some time now. Not because I am a “Taliban propagandist,” but because if I didn’t publish these videos, no one would believe it.

  • Christian says:

    Bill, what exactly is the strategic difference between the more successful anti-ISIS operations in their so called caliphate and the losing US ANSDF fight against the Taliban? I understand that there are sanctuaries for the terrorists in Pakistan but one could also make the claim that there were sanctuaries for say, the Syrian insurgency against Assad in Turkey that did not prevent Assad and his backers from more or less successfully knocking the crap out of the insurgents there.

    Call me someone who’s been living underneath a rock for years, but what the hell is going on here? One can’t even say that the U.S. has no decent experience fighting Islamists as we’ve seen from the U.S. Iraq surge and the recent anti-ISIS operations in the Levant. Why is this expertise and skillset not being passed on over to Afghanistan? And didn’t Trump claim to loosen the rules of engagement on airpower? Well where is it? It most certainly ain’t in this video and the many others you’ve shown us. What exactly are the ISAF advisers doing, if not actively stopping shitshows like the one above?

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis