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Taliban seizes large quantity of weapons during 'Recent Conquests in Kandahar'

    The Afghan military claimed #Taliban assault on base in Khakrez in July was repelled, but Taliban video shows they overran it and occupied:
    -- Long War Journal (@LongWarJournal) August 17, 2017

Taliban video shows that they overran and occupied an Afghan military base in Khakrez in late July. The Afghan military claimed it repelled the assault.

The Taliban took a large supply of weapons and ammunition, as well as other military equipment, during recent military operations in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.

The Taliban video, entitled 'Recent Conquests in Kandahar,' was published yesterday on the group's official website, Voice of Jihad. The video depicted the aftermath of the Taliban overrunning two bases and several small outposts in the districts of Khakrez and Shah Wali Kot during the month of July.

The Taliban overran a large base in Khakrez at the end of July and inflicted a high percentage of casualties on Afghan forces stationed there. Fifty-seven of the 82 Afghan soldiers stationed at the base were killed, wounded or captured during the fighting (26 killed, 13 wounded, and eight captured).

As in past videos, Taliban paraded its forces in broad daylight. The group operates with little fear of retaliation of airstrikes.

The Afghan military claimed the attack on the base in Khakrez was repelled, however the Taliban video told a different story. The video showed the Taliban in control of the base, with its fighters milling around the facility as their flag was raised.

In both Khakrez and Shah Wali Kot, the group displayed a large haul of rocket propelled grenade launchers, recoilless rifles, mortar tubes, machine guns, M-16s and AK-47 assault rifles. Some of the M-16s had advanced optics and grenade launchers mounted on them. Additionally, the Taliban seized night vision devices as well as crates and boxes of ammunition.

The Taliban also interviewed several captured Afghan troops, some of whom were in uniform with their feet chained.

The Taliban continues to make inroads in Kandahar province. As of March 26, the Taliban claimed to control four of Kandahar's 18 districts (Ghorak, Miyanashin, Registan, and Shorabak) and heavily contest five more (Arghastan, Khakrez, Maruf, Maiwand, and Shahwalikot). FDD's Long War Journal assesses the Taliban's claims of control to be credible. Of the remaining nine districts, the Taliban says it does "not control any specific area" but "only carryout [sic] guerilla attacks." If the Taliban was exaggerating its control in Kandahar, it likely would claim to control or contest at least some areas of districts such as Panjwai and Zhari. Taliban founder and its first emir, Mullah Omar, founded the Taliban in Panjwai, and Zhari is considered the spiritual home of the group.

Kandahar is a strategic province for the Taliban and is considered to be the birthplace of the group. The province borders Baluchistan, the Pakistani province that serves as the group's safe haven as well as a prime recruitment center. Kandahar is also a key to the production and distribution of opium, a major source of the Taliban's income.

The Taliban, which remains closely allied with al Qaeda, has taken advantage of the security situation in Kandahar province to established bases. Up until Oct. 2015, al Qaeda ran two large training camps in Shorabak district. US forces killed more than 150 al Qaeda fighters while raiding the camps.

Video showing weapons seized in Khakrez:

    Kandahar: Taliban seized a large haul of RPGs, recoilless rifles, mortar tubes, machine guns, & M16s & AK-47s, plus crates of ammo, and NVGs
    -- Long War Journal (@LongWarJournal) August 17, 2017

Video of Taliban fighters marching in the open:

    Taliban march after overrunning Afghan military base in Khakrez, Kandahar in late July. No fear of Afgh/Coalition counterattack #Afghanistan
    -- Long War Journal (@LongWarJournal) August 17, 2017

[Source: By Bill Roggio, Fdd's Long War Journal, NJ, 17Aug17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 25Aug17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.