Tuesday, October 18
Afghanistan: Nothing to see here folks, move along
"Despite several hours passing between the ambush and defeat of the Afghan forces and the recording of the video, there was no apparent response from the Afghan military or from the US Air Force."
Kabul is an island surrounded by an ocean of Taliban. Despite this obvious fact the U.S. continues its Baghdad Bob routine in Afghanistan. Nothing to worry about, everything under control.
October 17, 2016, Taliban details deadly ambush of Afghan military convoy; Bill Roggio for Long War Journal
The Taliban video confirmed their own claim that a large number of troops were killed and captured during the ambush. One scene shows a large number of captive Afghan troops sitting in a room. Several captured security personnel are interviewed at the end of the video. Other video clips show dozens of slain Afghan security personnel lying next to burned out or destroyed vehicles.
The Taliban also show a large number of vehicles captured or destroyed during the ambush. Taliban fighters are seen driving several functional US-supplied HUMVEEs and Ford Ranger pickup trucks that are normally used by the Afghan National Police and Afghan Local Police. One of the HUMVEEs captured looks to be so new that it has what appears to be shipping paperwork taped to the window. The Taliban also show a captured M1117 armored vehicle. A number of burned-out pickup trucks, HUMVEEs, and cars are also displayed in the video.
The video appears to support the Taliban’s initial claim from last week that it destroyed “8 APCs [and] 1 Kamaz truck” and seized “1 armored tank [likely the M1117], 22 APCs [likely the HUMVEEs], 20 ranger pickups, 3 other vehicles and different types ammunition.”
The Taliban recorded the video in the daylight, presumably the morning or afternoon following the ambush, which was said to have taken place at 2:30 a.m. local time. Despite several hours passing between the ambush and defeat of the Afghan forces and the recording of the video, there was no apparent response from the Afghan military or from the US Air Force. The Taliban seen in the video are operating in the open during daylight just outside of the provincial capital and do not appear to be concerned about airstrikes.
The video highlights the precarious situation in Lashkar Gah, which has been under Taliban threat for well over year. In Oct. 2015, The Taliban advanced to within milesof Lashkar Gah, which has been besieged ever since. US advisers have been deployed to Lashkar Gah and other districts in Helmand to help Afghan forces battle the Taliban, but have struggled to contain the threat. Of Helmand’s 14 districts, six are known to be controlled by the Taliban and another seven, including the provincial capital, are heavily contested. The Taliban are threatening four other provincial capitals.
Images from the Taliban video of the Basharan ambush:
See also Taliban threatens 5 provincial capitals in Afghanistan - Long War Journal, October 13, 2016. Map from LWJ