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Afghanistan
Afghan Taliban attacks intensify as US peace envoy returns
2018-11-12
[AlAhram] The Taliban
...Arabic for students...
intensified attacks in a district heavily populated by minority Hazara
...a grouping of Dari-speaking people of Sino-Tibetan descent inhabiting Afghanistan and Pakistain. They are predominantly Shia Moslems and not particularly warlike, which makes them favored targets...
s Sunday, as US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad returned to the region as part of efforts to convince the group to end the 17-year war.

In pre-dawn fighting in Jaghori district in the southeastern province of Ghazni, turbans killed 15 civilians and 10 members of Afghanistan's elite special forces, provincial police front man Ahmad Khan Sirat told AFP.

Another six special forces and eight civilians were maimed, Sirat added.

The information could not be immediately verified by another source in the province where telecommunications are poor. A front man for the Afghan defence ministry in Kabul would not answer his phone.

Taliban front man Zabiullah Mujahid said in a WhatsApp message that 22 Afghan commandos had been killed and "a large number" maimed.

Fighting in the district has been ongoing since Wednesday, fanning fears that the violence could be rooted in ethnic or sectarian differences.

Kabul deployed special forces to the area on Thursday to reinforce local Hazara pro-government fighters, as the Taliban denied targeting "any specific race, ethnicity or sect".

Most Hazaras belong to the Shia branch of Islam. The Taliban, which are Sunni and largely ethnic Pashtuns, have been accused of committing human rights
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
violations against the group during their oppressive 1996-2001 rule.

The flare up in violence coincided with the return of Khalilzad to Afghanistan as he seeks to coordinate regional efforts to bring about peace in the war-torn country. Khalilzad met with President 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. ..
on Saturday. The former US ambassador to Kabul also will visit Pakistain, United Arab Emirates and Qatar
...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates. Home of nutbag holy manYusuf al-Qaradawi...
, where the Taliban has a political office.

A Taliban delegation met with Khalilzad in Doha in October to discuss ending the Afghan conflict. That was followed by a Russia-led international gathering in Moscow on Friday that included Taliban representatives.

The Afghan government boycotted the meeting, but the country's High Peace Council, which is responsible for reconciliation efforts with the krazed killers, sent a delegation.

The flurry of diplomatic efforts to kickstart peace talks comes as the Taliban make gains on the battlefield and cause record-high casualties among security forces. A recent US government watchdog report said Kabul's control of Afghanistan had slipped in recent months as local forces made little or no progress against the Taliban.

In a grim assessment of the war, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) cited NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants...
's Resolute Support mission as saying this summer's casualty toll for Afghan forces had been worse than ever.
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Afghanistan
US soldier killed in ‘apparent insider attack’ in Kabul -- NATO
2018-11-04
[ALMASDARNEWS] The soldier was killed during an assault just a month after another US serviceman died in combat in Afghanistan and two weeks after an insider attack in the province of Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
that caused the death of a NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
-led Resolute Support mission soldier.

One US soldier was killed and one was injured during an "apparent insider attack" in Kabul on Saturday, NATO officials stated Saturday.

"Initial reports indicate the attacker was a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces," NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement, adding that the attacker was killed by "other Afghan forces."
The only bright spot in this affair.
The mission also reported that the maimed serviceman was flown to a medical facility at Bagram Airfield, in stable, pH balanced condition. An investigation into the case is underway, the statement said without providing any specific details on the incident.

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Afghanistan
‘Taliban realizes they cannot win militarily’, says Gen. Miller
2018-11-02
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Commander of the NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
-led Resolute Support Mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller has said the conflict in Afghanistan could only be ended through a political solution, emphasizing that the Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
also realizes that they cannot win militarily.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News Gen. Miller said he recognizes that the solution in Afghanistan will be political, not military.

"This is not going to be won militarily," Miller said. "This is going to a political solution."

"My assessment is the Taliban also realizes they cannot win militarily. So if you realize you can’t win militarily at some point, fighting is just, people start asking why. So you do not necessarily wait us out, but I think now is the time to start working through the political piece of this conflict."

However,
denial ain't just a river in Egypt...
he said "We are more in an offensive mindset and don’t wait for the Taliban to come and hit [us]."

Gen. Miller further added "So that was an adjustment that we made early on. We needed to because of the amount of casualties that were being absorbed."

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Afghanistan
NATO soldiers suffer casualties in apparent insider attack in West of Afghanistan
2018-10-24
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] At least three NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
soldiers were killed or maimed in an apparent insider attack in western Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
province of Afghanistan.

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in a statement said the incident took place on Monday.

"A Resolute Support service member was killed in Herat province today," the statement said.

"Two other Resolute Support service members were maimed in the incident. Initial reports indicate the attack was committed by a member of the Afghan cops," NATO added in its statement.

No further details were given regarding the identities of the soldiers killed or maimed in the attack.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Defense of Czech Republic has confirmed that one of its soldiers has been killed and two others have sustained injuries in Herat province.

The statement further added that the incident has taken place in Shindand district of Herat province.

The ministry also added that the maimed soldiers have been taken to Bagram hospital and their injuries are not life-threatening.
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Afghanistan
NATO soldier killed in Taliban-claimed attack in Afghanistan
2018-10-23
[IsraelTimes] A NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and structure....
soldier has been killed and two others have been maimed in a Taliban
...Arabic for students...
-claimed attack in Afghanistan, days after a US general was maimed in a shooting on a high-level security meeting.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission is not immediately releasing the nationalities of the three soldiers involved in the assault in the western province of Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
, but it is understood that they are not American.

"Initial reports indicate the attack was committed by a member of the Afghan cops," Resolute Support says in a statement.

In the incident’s wake, Tadeen Khan ‐ a brother of Raziq and a member of the Afghan cops ‐ has been appointed acting provincial police chief, interior ministry deputy front man Nasrat Rahimi told AFP.

Rumors on Afghan social media networks that Resolute Support carried out the attack on Raziq were dismissed by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah
... the former foreign minister of the Northern Alliance government, advisor to Masood, and candidate for president against Karzai. Dr. Abdullah was born in Kabul and is half Tadjik and half Pashtun...
on Monday, who blamed "the enemies of the Afghan people and their regional supporters" for the gossip.

"Such rumors are justifying the enemies’ atrocities," Abdullah ‐ Afghanistan’s equivalent of prime minister ‐ said in comments at a regular ministerial meeting that were broadcast on Afghan television.
Update from the Wall Street Journal at 8:25 a.m. ET, though the rest of the article is paywalled:
A Czech soldier with the U.S.-led international military forces in Afghanistan was killed in an apparent insider attack in the western province of Herat, the third such incident in the past two months.

The soldier was the fourth Czech service member killed as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization mission to Afghanistan since the Central European country’s parliament approved a plan in June to nearly double its forces in Afghanistan to 390.
Link


Afghanistan
US brigadier general recovering from at least one gunshot wound in Afghanistan attack
2018-10-22
[Washington Examiner] U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was wounded in an attack that took place in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Thursday.

Navy Cmdr. Grant Neeley, a spokesperson for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led Resolute Support mission, confirmed to CNN on Sunday that Smiley had received at least one gunshot wound.

Smiley, who oversees NATO military advisory mission in southern Afghanistan, still maintains charge of his command following the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The NATO-led coalition had previously identified two Americans wounded in the attack as a military service member and a civilian government employee. The police chief of the Kandahar province and another Afghan official were killed in the attack.

On Saturday, Gen. Joseph Votel told the Associated Press that the U.S. was "pretty confident that the Afghans will be able to maintain the situation down" in Kandahar.

"My assessment is the Afghans are resilient to this," Votel said. "I don't consider it to be something that will change the security situation."

The attack came just before Saturday's parliamentary elections in the region. The Taliban have pledged to disrupt the electoral process, alleging that the elections ‐ already three years overdue ‐ are a being manipulated by the U.S.
Link


Afghanistan
Three suspects arrested in connection to deadly Kandahar incident
2018-10-20
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] At least three people have been tossed in the clink
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
in connection to the deadly incident in southern Kandahar province that left the Police Chief and Intelligence Chief of the province dead.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a short statement confirmed that three suspects have been identified and arrested in connection to the incident.

The statement further added that the detained individuals are in the custody of the security forces and an investigation is underway.

No further details have been given in this regard and the identities of the detained individuals.

The Police Chief of Kandahar Gen. Abdul Raziq and Intelligence Chief of the province Gen. Abdul Momin Hussain Khel bit the dust in the incident on Thursday.

The governor of the province Zalmay Weesa and the commander of the 404th Zone have sustained injuries.

The Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan has also confirmed that three Americans have sustained injuries but the NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
Commander Gen. Scott Miller has escaped the incident unhurt.

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Afghanistan
Noor blames inner circles behind the assassination of Gen. Abdul Raziq
2018-10-19
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Chief Executive of Jamiat Islami Ata Mohammad Noor reacted to the assassination of Kandahar Police Chief and prominent Afghan security official Gen. Abdul Raziq.

In a statement posted online, Noor claimed that Gen. Raziq’s assassination in a safe place and under strict security measures prove that he has been due to the conspiracies of his rivals and inner circles having links with the top government officials.

The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan claimed responsibility behind the attack in southern Kandahar province that left the prominent Afghan security official and Police Chief of Kandahar Gen. Abdul Raziq dead.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement claimed responsibility behind the attack and said the attack was carried out an infiltrator of the group Abu Dujana.

Mujahid went on to claim that the attack was carried out during a meeting in the provincial government compound and as a result a number of other senior officials have sustained injuries.

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in a statement confirmed the incident and said two Americans have sustained injuries but the RS and U.S. forces Commander Gen. Scott Miller has escaped the attack unhurt.

“At Kandahar palace today: Afghan-on-Afghan incident, as initial reports indicate. 2 Americans wounded. Gen. Miller uninjured, attacker reportedly dead,” the Resolute Support Mission said in a statement.

In the meantime, reports indicate that provincial intelligence chief Abdul Momin Hussain Khel has also been killed and provincial governor Zalmai Weesa and the commander of 404 Maiwand Zone Abdul Nabi Elham have sustained injuries.

Link


Afghanistan
U.S. forces conducted 465 strikes against militants in Afghanistan in September
2018-10-07
[KhaamaPress] The U.S. forces based in Afghanistan have carried out 465 strikes engaging 522 targets during the month of September, according to a statement released by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.

"In addition, such strikes enable Afghan National Defense and Security Forces operations and compliment the Resolute Support train, advise and assist mission, as Afghanistan and the international community continue to apply judicious military pressure to enable the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
’s eventual reconciliation, reintegration and realignment," the statement said.

According to the statement, on September 1, U.S. forces conducted two strikes consisting of four engagements in Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
and Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
provinces.

On September 2, U.S. forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 10 engagements in Farah, Helmand, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces.

On September 3, U.S. forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 11 engagements, on September 4, U.S. forces conducted 21 strikes consisting of 31 engagements, on September 5, U.S. forces conducted 23 strikes consisting of 25 engagements, on September 6, U.S. forces conducted 21 strikes consisting of 29 engagements.

On September 7, U.S. forces conducted 27 strikes consisting of 29 engagements, on 8 September, U.S. forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 16 engagements, on 9 September, U.S. forces conducted 25 strikes consisting of 28 engagements, on September 10, U.S. forces conducted 36 strikes consisting of 42 engagements, on September 11, U.S. forces conducted 20 strikes consisting of 21 engagements, on September 12, U.S. forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 18 engagements, on September 13, U.S. forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements, and on September 14, U.S. forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements.

On September 15, U.S. forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 14 engagements, on September 16, U.S. forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 14 engagements, on September 17, U.S. forces conducted seven strikes consisting of seven engagements, on September 18, U.S. forces conducted 13 strikes consisting of 17 engagements, on September 19, U.S. forces conducted 11 strikes consisting of 13 engagements, on September 20, U.S. forces conducted 16 strikes consisting of 17 engagements, on September 21, U.S. forces conducted 17 strikes consisting of 17 engagements, on September 22, U.S. forces conducted 12 strikes consisting of 12 engagements, and on September 23, U.S. forces conducted 33 strikes consisting of 35 engagements.

On September 24, U.S. forces conducted seven strikes consisting of seven engagements, on September 25, U.S. forces conducted 27 strikes consisting of 30 engagements, on September 26, U.S. forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements, on September 27, U.S. forces conducted 17 strikes consisting of 17 engagements, on September 28, U.S. forces conducted 22 strikes consisting of 22 engagements, on September 29, U.S. forces conducted 16 strikes consisting of 16 engagements, and on September 30, U.S. forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 10 engagements.

The aforementioned summary contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing, or remotely piloted aircraft, rocket propelled artillery and ground-based tactical artillery. U.S. Forces ‐ Afghanistan may refine strike assessments, the statement added.
Link


Afghanistan
U.S. soldier assigned to NATO’s RS Mission killed in Afghanistan
2018-10-06
[KhaamaPress] A U.S. soldier assigned to the NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
-led Resolute Support Mission was killed during an incident in Afghanistan.

"One U.S. service member assigned to the NATO Resolute Support mission was killed in Afghanistan on October 4," Resolute Support Mission said in a statement.

Without disclosing further information, the RS Mission said "This incident is under investigation."

"We mourn and honor the sacrifice of our service member," said Resolute Support and United States Forces ‐ Afghanistan Commanding General Scott Miller. "We remain committed."

No further details were given regarding the identity and exact location where the incident took place, with NATO saying "In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete. We will share additional information as appropriate."

This comes as a U.S. soldier was killed during an incident in eastern Afghanistan earlier last month.

Update from Tolo News at 9:30 p.m EDT:
The Pentagon has released the identity of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department says 23-year-old specialist James A. Slape from Morehead City, North Carolina, died Thursday as a result of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province.

The incident is under investigation.

Slape was assigned to the 60th Troop Command of the North Carolina Army National Guard of Washington, North Carolina.
Link


Afghanistan
10 Civilians Killed In Foreign Forces Operation In Kapisa
2018-09-25
[ToloNews] At least 10 civilians were allegedly killed in a foreign forces operation in Tagab district of Kapisa province on Sunday night, local officials said Monday.

Mahfoz Safi, the provincial council’s deputy chief, said the incident occurred on Sunday night in the Badrab village during a foreign forces operation against Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
and as a result non-combatants were killed.

According to Safi, children and women were also among the victims and three others were maimed in the incident.

Safi said that all the victims were residents of the area.

However,
we can't all be heroes. Somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by...
Resolute Support rejected the claims of civilian casualties and in a statement to TOLOnews said: "During an Afghan army operation in Kapisa, the Afghan forces came under fire from a local mobilization militia. The Afghan army requested air support. US helicopters were present to provide the support and immediately came under fire from the local militia and returned fire in self-defense, resulting in the wounding of six militia. As the fog of war lifted and it became clear the militia had fired in error, the maimed militia members were airlifted and they are currently receiving treatment in a US hospital. We have no indication of non-combatant casualties," said Commander Grant Neeley, a US Forces ‐ Afghanistan front man.

Meanwhile,
...back at the pie fight, Bella went down under the weight of the custard...
the Kapisa provincial governor’s front man confirmed an operation was carried out in the Tagab district but did not confirm the killing of civilians.

Meanwhile a member of Maidan Wardak provincial council said 13 members of one family were killed in a security forces operation in Jaghatu district in the province on Sunday night.

"During this operation, eight members of a family were killed in just an Arclight airstrike," Sharif Hotak, a member of the provincial council said.

Maidan Wardak officials rejected the claims of civilian casualties and said that the operation was launched against a Taliban prison in which eight security forces were freed from the jail.

Ministry of Defense also said the Afghan National Army launched the operation against Taliban in which the group suffered heavy fatalities.

Security forces said they destroyed a Taliban prison and released a number of soldiers who had been held in the illegal prison for the last two months.

"800 Taliban fighters had attacked us. In that attack, I was injured and then tossed in the clink
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
by Taliban," Fazl Subhan, a freed soldier said.

"We were seven soldiers, I was maimed and then the enemy arrested me," Moalem Khan, another freed soldier said.
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Afghanistan
Planned Taliban attacks against the Afghan, U.S. forces foiled in Kandahar
2018-09-12
[KhaamaPress] The Afghan and U.S. Special Forces have thwarted planned Taliban
...the Pashtun equivalent of men...
attacks against the security forces in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

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...
-led Resolute Support Mission in a statement said the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF), advised by U.S. Special Operations Forces, conducted a helicopter raid on Taliban compounds in Maywand district, Kandahar province September 4.

The statement further added that Afghan Special Security Forces killed 14 Taliban fighters, detained five, destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised bomb (VBEID), heavy weapons and a defensive fighting position.

Information recovered during the raid indicated that Taliban fighters were using Maywand district to plan attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces in the Kandarhar area, the statement added.

"By methodically uncovering then spoiling the plans of future coordinated Taliban attacks, this operation showcases the increased capability and lethality of Afghanistan’s well-known fighting force," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Otto Liller, NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan/Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan deputy commanding general.

This comes as the security situation in southern Kandahar province has improved comparatively during the recent years but the anti-government armed holy warriors are attempting to destabilize the province as part of their ongoing efforts to increase attacks in the key southern provinces.
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