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Afghanistan
US military release airstrike video taken during Ghazni city clashes
2018-08-19
[KhaamaPress] The US Military has released a new video which shows an Arclight airstrike carried out in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces during the festivities in Ghazni city last week.

"Afghan National Defense Security Forces repeatedly took fire from Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
fighters who ran out of the building, fired at the soldiers and then returned to the safety of the structure," the US Military said.

"In self-defense, the Afghan National Defense Security Forces requested an airstrike. After the strike, the building was severely degraded and the threat to Afghan National Defense Security Forces neutralized," according to the statement released by the US Military.

This comes as the coalition forces officials in Afghanistan had earlier saaid that more than 220 Death Eaters were killed in the airstrikes conducted by the US forces during the Taliban attack on Ghazni city.

Resolute Support front man Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell in a statement said last week "From a U.S. Forces-Afghanistan perspective, U.S. airpower has killed more than 220 Taliban since August 10."

According to O’Donnell, the U.S. conducted an initial strike on Friday, and conducted five strikes on Saturday, 16 strikes on Sunday, and ten on Monday.

He said U.S. Army Apache helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Combat Aviation Brigade provided close-air support on Friday, Sunday, and Monday.

"In terms of Resolute Support assistance to the Afghan-led clearance operation, Task Force-Southeast, U.S. Special Forces and 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade advisors are providing advice on things such as clearance operations and combined-arms integration," O’Donnell added.
Watch video here.
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Afghanistan
Civilian Contractors Receive Medal of Valor for Actions in Afghanistan
2018-08-16
[DOD] WASHINGTON - Three retired soldiers were honored at the Pentagon yesterday for exceptional gallantry in action against an armed enemy while serving in Afghanistan as civilian contractors.

Retired Army Master Sgt. William Timothy Nix, retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Michael Anthony Dunne and retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Brandon Ray Seabolt received the Medal of Valor, the Defense Department’s highest civilian award for valor.

Nix was working as a civilian contractor at a coalition base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 7, 2015, when he heard the massive boom of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

"I just grabbed a weapon and ran out," Nix said.

Insurgents had breached the entrance at Camp Integrity, launching the deadly attack with a vehicle-borne IED and then using direct fire, hand grenades and suicide vests.

Nix and Dunne, a fellow contractor, rushed to the fight, teaming up with military personnel to defend the camp, suppress the enemy and evacuate the wounded.

"[The insurgents] blew the whole front of the camp. The gate came off. It collapsed the guard tower out there," Dunne said, recalling that a suicide vest exploded 30 feet away from him. He thought he would die, he said, but he kept fighting.

Nix was serving as an irregular warfare analyst for the NATO Special Operations Component Command Afghanistan in support of the Resolute Support mission. Dunne was an operations intelligence integrator there.

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Afghanistan
Ghazni goings on: 30 turbans permanently unwound, 110-150 civilian casualties, 220+ Talibs airstruck
2018-08-16


30 militants killed amid ongoing clearance operations in Ghazni city

[KhaamaPress] At least thirty militants have been killed as clearance operations continue in Ghazni city, the provincial capital of southeastern Ghazni province.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said at least 30 militants were killed during the airstrikes conducted in the vicinity of Ghazni city and the main route to Ghazni passing through Salar area of Midan Wardak province.

According to a statement released the defense ministry, at least two militants were also arrested during the same operations.

The statement further added that the clearance operations have concluded in Hyderabad, Hassanabad, Maghlan, and Nawabad areas of Ghazni city and five police stations have reopened.

The defense ministry also added that the militants have set on fire almost all public welfare institutions and compounds during the attack in Ghazni city.

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission also released some pictures of the city on Tuesday and confirmed that the clearance operations are underway by the Afghan forces forces in the city.

This comes as sporadic clashes continued in Ghazni for several days after the Taliban attack on the city in the early hours of Friday morning.

Taliban attack on Ghazni city caused terrible suffering to civilians: Yamamoto

[KhaamaPress] The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto has said the Taliban attack on Ghazni city has caused terrirble suffering to the civilians.

Quoting unconfirmed reports in his statement, Mr. Yamamoto said the civilian casualties as a result of the attack range from 110 to 150 people.

Yamamoto further added that reliable information indicates that the Ghazni Public Hospital is overwhelmed by a continuous influx of injured government forces, Taliban fighters and civilians.

He said reports also indicate that the situation in Ghazni for non-combatants remains particularly grim, as the fighting has led to electricity outages along with water and food shortages. Communication networks and media outlets have been shuttered, and roads remain blocked, preventing freedom of movement for families seeking safety.

“The extreme human suffering caused by the fighting in Ghazni highlights the urgent need for the war in Afghanistan to end,” he said, adding that the United Nations continues to maintain that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

According to Yamamoto, the Afghan Government has extended an unprecedented overture to talk with the Taliban rather than to fight.” The most recent Eid ceasefire on 15-17 June illustrated to all Afghans, especially those too young to have known anything but war, what peace looks like. It is therefore vital for this war to come to an end through an Afghan-led negotiated settlement,” he said.

He also added that the fighting in Ghazni must stop and the fighting in Afghanistan must stop. Confidence-building steps that immediately reduce violence are crucial, and talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are necessary to identify and expand common ground. The United Nations stands ready to support any endeavours that would advance peace in Afghanistan.

More than 220 militants killed in US airstrikes in Ghazni city

[KhaamaPress] The coalition forces officials in Afghanistan are saying that more than 220 militants were killed in the airstrikes conducted by the US forces during the Taliban attack on Ghazni city.

Resolute Support spokesman Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell in a statement has said “From a U.S. Forces-Afghanistan perspective, U.S. airpower has killed more than 220 Taliban since August 10.”

According to O’Donnell, the U.S. conducted an initial strike on Friday, and conducted five strikes on Saturday, 16 strikes on Sunday, and ten on Monday.

He said U.S. Army Apache helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Combat Aviation Brigade provided close-air support on Friday, Sunday, and Monday.

“In terms of Resolute Support assistance to the Afghan-led clearance operation, Task Force-Southeast, U.S. Special Forces and 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade advisors are providing advice on things such as clearance operations and combined-arms integration,” O’Donnell added.

This comes as the Taliban group launched a coordinated attack on Ghazni city in the early hours of Friday morning, sparking clashes that continued until late on Monday.

According to reports, the local residents have also sustained heavy casualties apart from the casualties inflicted on Taliban and security forces.
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Afghanistan
101st Airborne, US Special Forces Called Into Ghazni Battle
2018-08-15
[Funker] To keep the city of Ghazni from totally collapsing into Taliban control, the Pentagon has sent units from the 101st Airborne Division, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, as well as US Army Special Forces "Green Berets" to assist the Afghan National Army in stomping out the attacking insurgents.

The 101st Airborne Apache attack helicopters have been pummeling Taliban positions for days, and combat "advisor" troops currently of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade are augmenting Afghan National Army units on the streets of Ghazni.

The arrival of the American troops immediately turned the tide of the fight as mixed reports indicate that the Taliban insurgents have been pushed out of the city into the outlying suburbs and rural areas. The NATO-led Operation Resolute Support is claiming that the American airstrikes alone have killed more than 220 Taliban since Friday.
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Afghanistan
Suicide attack kills three Nato soldiers in Afghanistan
2018-08-06
[DAWN] A jacket wallah killed three foreign soldiers in an attack on a patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
's mission in the country said.

"Three Resolute Support service members were killed by a suicide bomber during a combined, dismounted patrol with Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan," it said in a statement.

A US member of the patrol and two Afghan soldiers were maimed, it said, without giving the nationality of those killed.

The attack by a lone bomber on foot happened at 6am in the city of Charikar in Parwan province some 60 kilometres north of Kabul, said provincial governor's front man Wahida Shahkar.

The Taliban
...Arabic for students...
in a statement grabbed credit.
Khaama Press adds:
"My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all of the 41 Resolute Support nations, are with the families and friends of our fallen and maimed service members, and our injured Afghan brothers and their families," said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan commander. "Their sacrifice on behalf of the Afghan people and our coalition will endure in both our hearts and history, and further strengthen our resolve."
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Afghanistan
Gardez City mosque attack: deaths increase to 34, Talibs say wudn't them
2018-08-05
More on this attack on a Shiite mosque from yesterday.
Death toll rises to 34 in Gardez city mosque bombing

[KhaamaPress] The death toll as a result of a coordinated suicide attack on a mosque in Gardez city has reached to at least 34 people, the local security officials said Saturday.

A spokesman for the provincial security commandment of Paktia Sardar Wali Tabasum confirmed the death toll and said a number of children are also among those killed or wounded.

Tabasum further added that the attack has left at least 76 people wounded including a number of children.

The provincial government had earlier said the death toll as a result of a coordinated suicide attack by the Burqa-clad suicide bombers has reached to at least 29 people.

According to statement released by the provincial government's media office, at least 81 people also sustained injuries in the attack.

The statement further added that the attack was carried out on Khwaja Hasan located in the 2nd police district of the city.

Two suicide bombers who had disguised themselves in Burqas carried out the attack by initially shooting the security guards of the mosque dead, the provincial government said, adding that they detonated their explosives after intruding into the mosque compound.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attack so far.

Taliban rejects involvement as Gardez mosque bombing attracts widespread condemnation

[KhaamaPress] The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan rejected involvement in the deadly attack on a mosque in Gardez city, the provincial capital of Paktia province, as the raid has attracted widespread condemnation.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement claimed the fighters of the group have no role in the attack on a mosque in Gardez city.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani has strongly condemned the attack on a mosque in Gardez city, calling it a criminal act which is against the principles of Islam.

He said the attack on civilians and mosque once again proved the filthy nature of the terrorist groups.

"This attack targeting civilians has no possible justification," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA. "Those who are responsible for enabling this attack must be brought to justice and held to account."

"These brutal and senseless attacks against people at prayer are atrocities," said Yamamoto. "Such attacks directed against congregations and places of worship are serious violations of international law that may amount to war crimes."

The Commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission Gen. John Nicholson said "The entire Resolute Support Mission offers our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those martyred adn wounded today during the horrific attack at the Sahib-ul-Zaman Mosque in Gardez city."

He said "The enemies of Afghanistan who martyr innocent Muslims in prayer can only be described as evil. We will continue to pursue these terrorists and destroy them."

The provincial government officials say at least 29 people have been killed and 81 others have sustained injuries but the a security source says at least 34 people have died and 94 others have sustained injuries in the attack.
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Afghanistan
Taliban list demands to talk to U.S,, but NATO denies supposed American comments
2018-07-18
Psych? Or just that the New York Times overexcited themselves again?
Taliban shares demand ahead of direct talks with the US

[KhaamaPress] The Taliban militants have said they are waiting to receive a formal offer from the United States for direct talks to find a solution to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

The group also shared a demand ahead of the talks with the United States, saying "We want names of our leaders removed from the United Nations sanctions list as a confidence building measure ahead of the talks," according to Daily Times.

"We will start official talks with the US about the withdrawal of foreign forces and their concerns," the Taliban representative told the Pakistan-based paper.

"We want direct negotiations with the US to find out a solution to the problem. We want talks on the withdrawal of the foreign troops first and then we will work for peace," he further said.

This comes as reports emerged on Monday suggesting that the Administration of President Donald Trump has reportedly ordered its top diplomat to seek direct talks with the Taliban group in Afghanistan in a bid to help kick start Afghan negotiations.

Sources privy of the development in U.S. and Afghanistan have told The New York Times that the Trump administration is considering a strategy shift to help the launch of a broader, formal negotiations to end the long war.

No date has been set for the likely talks between the US and the Taliban group with the US State Department and the Taliban yet to formally comment regarding the latest developments.

NATO rejects remarks attributed to Gen. Nicholson regarding direct talks with Taliban

[KhaamaPress] The NATO-led Resolute Mission has rejected remarks attributed to US Forces and Resolute Support Mission Commander General John Nicholson regarding the direct US talks with the Taliban group.

"The United States is not a substitute for the Afghan people or the Afghan government," said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander.

He said "My reaffirmation of Secretary Pompeo's statement in which he said peace talks would include a discussion of international forces and that the United States is ready to work with the Taliban, the Afghan government and the Afghan people towards lasting peace was mischaracterized."

According to Resolute Support Mission, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued his statement, June 16, days after the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's unilateral cease-fire with the Taliban was announced by H.E. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and began, June 12.

"As President Ghani emphasized in his statement to the Afghan people, peace talks by necessity would include a discussion of the role of international actors and forces," said Pompeo in his statement. "The United States is prepared to support, facilitate, and participate in these discussions."

"The U.S. is exploring all avenues to advance a peace process in close consultation with the Afghan government," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Martin L. O'Donnell, Resolute Support spokesman. "But this remains an Afghan-led process."
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Afghanistan
NATO leaders to discuss extension of Afghan forces funding beyond 2020
2018-07-12
[Khaama Press] The NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
leaders meeting will kick off in Brussels today to hold talks regarding the deterrence and defence, stepping up the fight against terrorism, and and achieving fairer burden-sharing.

The NATO leaders will also hold talks regarding the extension of the Afghan forces funding beyond 2020.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told news hounds on Tuesday "We will close the Summit with a meeting on Afghanistan, joined by our Resolute Support partners."

He said "Our presence in Afghanistan is vital to ensuring the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorism."

According to Stoltenberg "And Allies are increasing their commitment, both in forces and funding."

"We have added around 3,000 more trainers to our mission," he said, adding that "At the Summit, I expect we will also agree to extend funding for the Afghan forces beyond 2020."

Stoltenberg also added that the NATO leaders express full support for President Ghani’s bold peace initiative and his government’s reforms.
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Afghanistan
1 US soldier killed, 2 wounded in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan
2018-07-09
[Khaama Press ] One US soldier was killed and at least two others sustained injuries in an apparent insider attack in South of Afghanistan.

"One U.S. service member was killed and two other U.S. service members were maimed during an apparent insider attack in southern Afghanistan, July 7," the NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
-led Resolute Support Mission said in a statement.

The statement further added that the maimed service members, who are in stable, pH balanced condition, are currently being treated.

No further details have been given regarding the incident and exact location where the attack took place but NATO said the incident is under investigation.

In the meantime, Afghan officials have told AFP that the incident has taken place in southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.

The Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
group issued a statement claiming that the attack was carried out by the Afghan soldiers and as a result four American soldiers were killed and a number of others have sustained injuries.

Uruzgan is among the relatively volatile provinces in South of Afghanistan where the anti-government armed bully boy groups are actively operating in some of its districts and often carry out terrorist related activities.
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Afghanistan
US conduct over 20 airstrikes in support of nationwide resumption of ANDSF operations
2018-07-02
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The US forces in Afghanistan have conducted more than twenty Arclight airstrikes in support of the Afghan national defense and security forces who resumed operations against the Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
at the end of the extended ceasefire announced by the government.

"Elsewhere in the nation, U.S. forces have conducted more than 20 strikes targeting selective Taliban irreconcilables in Ghazni, Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
and Uruzgan provinces in support of the nationwide Afghan-led offensive," according to a report by Resolute Support Mission.

The report further added "In addition, the Afghan Air Force conducted at least two independent strikes in Uruzgan province."

"Multiple Afghan National Army Corps and Afghan Special Forces also began operations around the country, demonstrating the full and extensive capabilities of the Afghan National Defense Forces. It is from this position of strength that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces maintained a unilateral ceasefire for more than two weeks," the report added.

In the south of the country, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John W. Lathrop, Train, Advise, and Assist Command-South (TAAC-South) commander, met, June 27, with Rahmatullah Yarmal, Zabul Province provincial governor, to discuss the offensive there, according to Resolute Support Mission.

"The outcome of the operation will have a big impact on Zabul," said Yarmal. "We need to make sure the Government of Afghanistan is in control."

"The Taliban should heed the calls of the Afghan people, the international community, and the Islamic world, and respond positively to their request to end the violence and start the grinding of the peace processor. In fact, some have already responded to the social and diplomatic pressure," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell, Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan front man. "The alternative for those that cast-off peace is defeat through relentless military pressure."

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Afghanistan
Women among several Afghan Air Force pilots graduated in Czech Republic
2018-06-30
[KhaamaPress] A group of Afghan Air Force fixed-wing pilots graduated in Czech Republic after completing a 15-month training program.

The NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
-led Resolute Support Mission in a statement said "The newest Afghan Air Force fixed-wing pilots, including two women, graduated today from a 15-month training program in the Czech Republic."

According to Resolute Support Mission "The pilots received ground, flight & English training. They now bring those skills to the battlefield."

The Resolute Support Mission had earlier said the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will graduate its newest group of 24 pilots of fixed wing aircraft, including two female pilots, at a graduation ceremony at the Lom Praha Flight Training Center (CLV) in Pardubice, Czech Republic, June 27.

According a Resolute Support Mission report published on 23rd June, the ceremony will recognize the proficiency reached throughout the 15-month training during which students received ground and flight training as well as English training. These graduates are now qualified to operate three different kinds of fixed-wing Cessna (150, 172, 208).

The report further added that they will further develop their skills through additional training in Afghanistan.

Currently the Afghan Air Force has one female pilot, but thanks to the efforts carried out by the Afghan Ministry of Defense more women have been encouraged to pursue a career in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, including the Air Force.

Female students went through the same coursework and were held to the same standards as their male counterparts, and were able to meet and, in some areas, exceed their training goals, according to Resolute Support Mission report.

This comes as efforts are underway by the Afghan government and the international allies of Afghanistan to boost the capabilities of the Afghan national defense and security forces, specifically the Afghan Air Force.

The coalition forces officials in Afghanistan had earlier said that the size of the Afghan Air Force will be tripled over the next five years with the addition of new equipment and aircraft.
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Afghanistan
Afghan government approves deployment of UAE Special Forces to train ANDSF
2018-06-07
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Afghan government has approved the deployment of UAE Special Forces in Afghanistan to participate in the train, advise, and assist mission led by NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and structure....
The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the proposal for the deployment of the UAE Special Forces in the framework of the Resolute Support Mission was approved during a meeting of the National Security Council.

ARG Palace in a statement said the National Security Council meeting was organized in ARG Palace late on Tuesday afternoon and was chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
...former chancellor of Kabul University, now president of Afghanistan. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. ..
The statement further added that the UAE Special Forces will be deployed to Afghanistan to train, advise, and assist the Afghan national defense and security forces.

According to ARG Palace, the UAE Special Forces will be deployed in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement.

This comes as efforts are underway to bolster the capabilities of the Afghan national defense and security forces by expanding the training mission.

Several NATO member countries have also agreed to increase the number of their forces as part of the Resolute Support Mission led by NATO.

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