On Dec. 12, the Taliban seized control of the district of Shib Koh in Afghanistan’s embattled western province of Farah after Afghan security forces fled. Afghan security officials denied Shib Koh fell to the Taliban, but a video recently released by the Taliban shows its fighters in full control of the district center.
The video, which was released at the end of Dec. at Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official propaganda website, shows Taliban fighters touring the abandoned district center. There does appear to be some signs of fighting, however it is unclear if the fighting was recent. Numerous Afghan police pickup trucks, which appear to have been damaged and salvaged for parts, are parked throughout the compound.
Towards the end of the video, a Taliban commander gives a lengthy speech to what appears to be a group of captive Afghan security personnel or local villagers.
Like in previous Taliban videos of this genre, the Taliban is touring the base and operating in broad daylight without fear of reprisal from Afghan or Resolute Support air power. The Taliban continues to be able to mass its forces and overrun district centers and military bases, and do so despite having a massive gap in military technology and hardware.
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