Taliban overruns military base in Zabul

The Taliban has released yet another video showing their fighters gathering in the open after overrunning a military base without fear of reprisal from NATO or Afghan warplanes. In many remote areas of Afghanistan, the Taliban has demonstrated that it can operate virtually unfettered.

The Taliban released “Enemy Retreat from Shomolzo (Zabul)” on Sept. 10 on its official website, Voice of Jihad. It is unclear when the attack took place. In mid-August, the Taliban reportedly killed 11 policemen in Zabul after it overran two checkposts, but the video shows what appears to be a large base. “Shomolzo” is Shamulzayi district, which is contested by the Taliban, according to an assessment by FDD’s Long War Journal.

In the video, the bodies of several slain Afghan security personnel can be seen (these have been edited out of the video clips shown above and below).

Attacks on military bases such as the one in Zabul have become all too common in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters have not paid a price for loitering and celebrating on captured bases or overrun district centers as the Afghan military and Resolute Support are either unwilling or unable to launch airstrikes or retaliatory raids. [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.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags: ,


  • Brian L. says:

    Un-friggin-believable. 17yrs after 9/11 and this is what we’ve come to. And if it wasn’t for FDD and the LWJ, nobody would be telling us about this….

  • James says:

    Why aren’t those structures being flattened? I see no presence of [so-called] ‘innocent’ civilians. They could flatten them in a matter of seconds. I’m willing to bet that it is an ROE (‘rules of engagement’) constraint handed down from the previous admin. Probably before they can attack they have to get ‘permission’ from the central gov’t, who then have to get ‘permission’ from the provincial gov’t, who then have to get ‘permission’ from the local gov’t, blah, blah, blah, etc., (and the list goes on and on). Of course, by that time, those tail bunnies are long gone. In the process, they may have already swapped themselves out for at least some of those [so-called] ‘innocent’ civilians.

    I can see it now. Having to hear ol’ kabul king karzai and his ilk (may ISIS have no mercy on his soul) sniveling in front of the media mob about how our guys are over there killing [so-called] ‘innocent’ civilians.

    Yes folks, it’s just like Vietnam. Why? Because just like Vietnam, people like ol’ jumpin’ jack joe (Joe Biden) and his ilk made it so. They only had a good 8 years to poison the well and sabotage our efforts over there.

    Bill, if you could maybe show these films to and interview the US ambassador to Afghanistan or the Afghan ambassador to the US or even at least some of the generals or major policy makers to see what is going on it would be a big help.

    What does Trump need to do in this situation? Time to issue the Afghan gov’t an ultimatum. If they allow those structures to fall under Taliban control, if they don’t destroy them, then we will ! ! ! That’s what needs to be done.

  • TEX says:


  • Murad Badshah says:

    For your information Brian, it may be unbelievable to you but not to me. Taliban regularly release videos of the bases they overrun or capture, also showing the war booty they get,
    and you wont believe your eyes the amount of war munition they capture – sometimes it is in thousands of rounds.
    I always check their site if there is a new video released. You can check their site for such videos.

  • Curtis Conway says:

    Afghan CAS assets have been growing commensurately, and their effectiveness appears to not be increasing. So much for A-29 Super Tucano effectiveness. Also, the Afghan sensitivity for collateral damage seems to be less than expected in consideration and application, unless it provides some political advantage in squeezing more support from the Allies.

  • Murad Badshah says:

    Brian! Taliban regularly release video reports whenever they capture a base, district center etc. I check their site on daily basis for newly released videos. I think Taliban need to improve their video journalism skills, they need better cameras at least a mid range DSLR for sharp shooting, though the shooting and editing of their video films are good.

  • irebukeu says:

    James, How did Obama “Poison the well”? Do you think Obama dreamed up ROE on his own? Did he take the advice of the military or just whip out his own COIN book?

    When Obama had 125,000 troops there, what was he not doing that somehow just a few years before we were doing with less than 20,000 so that he came along with another 100,000 troops and poisoned the well? I never hear a good explanation. Did the military poison the well with the 100,000 or was it Obama himself?
    Who put the poison in the well James?

    The entire situation is between SNAFU and FUBAR James. I’m leaning hard towards FUBAR.
    Its time to Cut-n-Run like Chicken Dung.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram