40 Taliban militants killed in battle with Afghan forces

March 11, 2018

40 Taliban militants killed in battle with Afghan forces ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

Despite the presence of American troops, Afghanistan continues to suffer from recurring tribal violence — and the number of casualties continues to grow.

A group of Afghan special forces commandos partnered with a local security force were ambushed by Taliban forces on Friday night while on their way to launch a raid.

The Afghan forces reportedly lost 18 fighters during the five-hour firefight, while Taliban forces suffered over 40 casualties.

War By Attrition

Afghan fighters and local security were on their way to conduct a raid, presumably against the Taliban, on Friday in the Bala Blok district, which is located in the Farah province of Afghanistan, when they were ambushed by Taliban forces. The ambush resulted in an hours-long firefight between Afghan forces and Taliban militants.

At times, the fighting became so intense that air strikes were called to aid the security forces, though it was reported that the requested air support either never arrived or arrived too late to be effective.

According to provincial council members, the Afghan forces suffered the loss of 18 men: 8 special forces and 10 police officers were killed during the skirmish, and 3 fighters were captured. Despite being ambushed and outnumbered, the Afghan forces managed to eliminate over 40 Taliban militants, leaving the enemy hurting.

“The Special Forces had launched a clearing operation,” according to Dadullah Qane, a member of the provincial council, “but they suffered losses in this operation.”

Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed credit for the ambush against the commandos and Afghan security forces on Saturday. He tweeted:

Inside Job?

This ambush follows a string of other attacks in the same province, which borders Iran. In February, the Taliban overran an Afghan military base, killing over 25 soldiers and capturing several more.

Before that, the Taliban killed over 20 policemen. Taliban forces have also made a video depicting them gearing up to perform a military parade with no fear of being targeted by Afghan or U.S. forces.

The repeated attacks have left some speculating that the Taliban may have insiders within Afghan forces. Knowing this, it would seem as though the Taliban is using the same public relations playbook as ISIS: they are developing a strong media presence, and are using tactics of intimidation to stop the locals from becoming loyal to the Afghan government and security forces.

“They [insurgents] are trying to erode government and make government forces reluctant [to fight insurgents] who are fighting on battlefields,” former military officer Atiqullah Amarkhel told reporters.

If the situation continues to worsen, the United States may have to send in more troops in an official capacity to pacify the Farah province and bring security and stability to a corrupt and Iranian-influenced location. President Donald Trump may even get the chance to drop another Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), also known as the Mother of All Bombs, in hopes of scaring the Taliban into retreat.

Juan Sclafani

Juan Sclafani is a writer for Conservative Institute. He holds a J.D. from Liberty University and a B.A. from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.