Showing posts with label Badakhshan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Badakhshan. Show all posts

Sunday, March 25, 2018

ETIM in northeast Afghanistan? Hmmmm

Map of Badakhshan Province Afghanistan

In February 2018 Resolute Support pushed out some news releases and videos describing an increase in air strikes against insurgents in Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan. The RS HQs and DoD news releases stated that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was operating in the region and reportedly using some Taliban camps for training.

"U.S. Forces Strike Taliban, East Turkestan Islamic Movement Training Sites", Defense Media Activity, February 7, 2018.

"New U.S. air campaign expands to the North", Resolute Support Afghanistan, February 6, 2018.

The researchers at Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) took a closer look at the RS HQs claims of ETIM operating in Badakhshan and find the RS HQs claims about ETIM activity are slightly exaggerated.

Read more in "Tilting at Windmills: Dubious US Claims of Targeting Chinese Uyghur Militants in Badakhshan", Afghanistan Analysts Network, March 19, 2018.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Afghan Security News - Good and Bad

Helmand Province still at Risk. A war correspondent takes us on a journey to Lashkar Gar, the provincial capital of Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan. The province has been the scene of heavy fighting with most of the districts controlled by the Taliban. Although the government (and U.S. spokesmen) say that many of the districts are under Afghan government control the reality is that the government forces occupying several district administrative buildings within a small walled compound and the Taliban are free to roam the rest of the district. A lot of spin at play here. For a more realistic version of what is happening in this war-torn province read a report entitled "First Helmand, Then Afghanistan", Foreign Policy, September 21, 2016.

Govt Forces Control only 70% of Afghanistan. According to General Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (and former ISAF Cdr), says that the Afghan security forces are taken more casualties "than we're comfortable with" and that they still are lacking in key areas including air power, special operations, and intelligence. He called the war in Afghanistan a stalemate during an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Overall his assessment was on the gloomy side. Read more in a news report by The Washington Post, September 22, 2016.

U.S. Army Secretary Visits Afghanistan. Secretary Fanning visited artillerymen from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment in Laghman province in mid-September. Read more in "Army Secretary engages with artillerymen in action",, September 22, 2015.

U.S. Airstrike Allegedly Kills 8 Afghan Police. Read more in a news report by Stars and Stripes, September 20, 2016.

Afghanistan and the Little Bird. The Afghan Air Force has received the last four of 27 MD-530F armed helicopters. Read more about these versatile choppers of the AAF in "Warplanes: Afghanistan Adopts Little Bird", Strategy Page, September 18, 2016.

ISIS Regrouping in Nangarhar Vicinity. The Islamic State in Afghanistan has suffered some setbacks this year but are still a problem in eastern Afghanistan. Afghan government leaders are hoping that 'popular uprising' and Afghan Local Police can contain the threat. Read more in "Tribal Leaders Say IS Regrouping in Afghan-Pakistan Border Areas", Voice of America, September 21, 2016.

News Article: "Losing in Afghanistan". A recent report by Foreign Affairs (Sep 22, 2016) suggests that the United States is losing the war in Afghanistan based on data released by the Pentagon. Measures of insurgent activity are the highest since in five years, Afghan government security forces are suffering high levels of casualties, and civilian deaths are rising.

Local Uprising Group in Badakhshan. A freelance reporter, Franz Marty, travels to Raghistan district, Badakhshan province and spends time with a local defense force that has taken the districts security into their own hands. The author asks what this means for the central government over the long-term. Read "Afghanistan's Anti-Taliban Vigilantes: Blessing or Curse?", The Diplomat, September 15, 2016.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Taliban Take Badakhshan District

Over 100 Afghan police surrendered to the Taliban after three to four days of fighting during the last week of July in northeastern Afghanistan. Some news reports indicate that the police made a deal with the Taliban. After the surrender of the police post the Taliban released over 100 of the Afghan police. (Numbers of those released vary from about 100 to almost 150). The surrender of the Tirgaran base in Warduj district is regarded as one of the largest mass surrenders in recent times. The District Chief of Police (DCoP) for Badakhshan accused the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and the Afghan Border Police (ABP) for the loss of the district base. There were approximately 100 ABP and 40 ALP at the base. A large quantity of weapons and ammunition was seized by the Taliban.

Read more in:
"Afghan Taliban Takes Remote Military Base", Gandhara Blog, July 26, 2015.
"Taliban overrun base,capture and release 100 Afghan security personnel", The Long War Journal, July 26, 2015.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Landslide in Badakhshan Kills Scores

A landslide killed scores of Afghans and buried many homes in the Khwahan district of Badakhshan province on Monday. Many residents are missing. This time of year northern Afghanistan sees lots of landslides. Last year the Afghan government was criticized for being too slow with relief response. Many local officials were accused of stealing humanitarian aid sent to the province; diverting food, blankets, and medical supplies to other villages not affected by the landslides. Regional Command North's response to the earthquake in 2014 was limited; hampered by a lack of coordination on the part of the Afghan provincial and national leadership. It will be interesting to see if the response by the Afghan government to the landslides is any better in 2015. The affected area is about 125 miles from the provincial capital (Faizabad) along near the border with Tajikistan. It is a remote and rugged area that is currently accessible only by helicopter - much of the area still has snow blocking passages.

Some news reports on the landslide:

"Massive Landslide Kills Dozens in Northeast Afghanistan", The World Post, April 28, 2015.

"Over 50 People Presumed Dead in Badakhshan Landslide: Official", Tolo News, April 28, 2015.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Badakhshan Offensive

The Taliban scored some initial successes in the opening rounds of the 2015 fighting season in Badakhshan where it overran some army and police posts. Now the Afghan military is planning some operations to try and reverse those gains. Most of the fighting will be done by units of the 209th Corps based in Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province. The corps hqs is there but its three brigades are spread out across northern Afghanistan. One of those brigades has responsibility for Badakhshan province and several other nearby provinces. Those troops will likely be augmented by a Special Operations Kandak of Afghan National Army Commandos. In addition, one or two special police units may find its way from Kabul to the conflict area. Read more in "Afghan military prepares for major counterinsurgency operation in north"Stars and Stripes, April 14, 2015.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Resurgent Taliban in Badakhshan Province

The province of Badakhshan is seeing an increase in criminal and insurgent activity. This remote area located in the northeast of Afghanistan is mountainous and rural. It also serves as a major through way for narcotics trafficking to the Central Asian states. The Taliban in the northeast are a bit different than the Taliban in the south; some of their outlooks are less conservative. For instance, girls are allowed to attend school, beheadings are not common, and some members of the Taliban are former mujahideen of Uzbek or Tajik descent. This suggests a fragmentation of the Taliban resistance with a patchwork of forces with conflicting ideals and motivations. Read more in "As the U.S. mission winds down, Afghan insurgency grows more complex", by Sudarsan Raghavan - The Washington Post, February 12, 2015.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tajik Militants in Badakhshan

News reports say that a number of Tajik militants are fighting alongside the Taliban in the remote province of Badakhshan, Afghanistan. There are a number of militant organizations fighting in this province including the IMU, al-Qaeda, and Jamaat Ansarullah. The Taliban have started to mass their numbers and attack district centers. Over 300 insurgents attacked a police outpost in Warduj district, Badakhshan province in late October. Read more in "Tajik militants fighting in Badakhshan, Afghan official says", Central Asia Online, October 28, 2014.