Get the data: Drone wars

Get the data: A list of US air and drone strikes, Afghanistan 2015

An F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the "Stingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 113, transits over the desert of Southern Afghanistan. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and Carrier Air Wing 14 are providing support to coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan. Coalition forces, composed of more than 52,000 personnel from 40 countries, are providing assistance to the government of Afghanistan, as part of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF,) and working to defeat violent extremists who operate there. Ronald Reagan is currently deployed to the 5th Fleet/NAVCENT area of responsibility. Operations in the NAVCENT area of operations are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States' commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.

A note on our data and methodology

US drones and jets have been bombing Afghanistan since late 2001 and the airstrikes look set to continue beyond 2017.

For most of the past 15 years, US aircraft operated alongside allied air forces. However this changed on January 1 2015. From that point the US became the only air force known to be flying fast jets or armed drones in Afghanistan. A handful of European allies have kept some helicopters in the country to support the Nato Resolute Support Mission.

Besides the US, the Afghan Air Force (AAF) is the only other force carrying out air strikes in Afghanistan though the AAF only has a handful of strike capable helicopters and propeller-driven, light ground-attack aircraft. Despite this, the UN reported AAF strikes killed 45 civilians in 2015. It is not clear how many AAF attacks took place last year though there were at least 15 reported by Afghan and international media. These incidents are recorded in the timeline below, for reference.

On January 1 2015 the international commitment in Afghanistan took on a new form. The US and Nato started their non-combat “Training, Advising and Assisting” mission supporting the Afghan police and army. Alongside this, the US began a counter-terrorism mission hunting al Qaeda and its allies.

With around 3,000 special operations soldiers dedicated to this terrorist hunt, air power was bound to play an important role. The Bureau decided to start recording data from this point onward.

The events detailed below occurred in 2015. These have been reported by US, Afghan and Pakistani civil, military and intelligence officials, and by credible media, academic and other sources, including Bureau researchers.

This is not an exhaustive list. The US Air Force publishes monthly summaries of its operations over Afghanistan, including how many strikes it has carried out and how many bombs and missiles have been released. This information is published one month late but still shows a greater number of strikes than the Bureau’s tally. The US figures are summarised in the table below and can be downloaded from the US Air Force website.

For more on our methodology, see the notes page in our database of strikes accessible here. A more detailed analysis of the US Air Force’s figures are also maintained in this sheet.

The Bureau uses a C suffix on the six digit alphanumeric strike code when there are unresolved questions over the attribution of a strike, or its sourcing. They are not included in our casualty estimates.

In order to give some context to the strikes, brief summaries of events in Afghanistan and internationally have been included in the timeline. These might include noteworthy military and political events in Afghanistan or political developments in Washington or Islamabad, for example. Some of these summaries include a body count – they are not included in the Bureau’s casualty estimates and they do not have a six figure alphanumeric code.

This research is part of the Bureau’s covert drone war project. The Bureau has collected extensive data on US drone strikes and air strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

 

Reported US strikes, Afghanistan 2015
Strikes reported
by US Air Force
Strikes recorded
by the Bureau
Total reported strikes: 411 235-236
Total reported killed: 989-1,441
Civilians reported killed: 60-81
Children reported killed: 3-17
Total reported injured: 142-147

 

The Air Force publishes its data online in an Air Power Summary – the monthly figures are posted in the second week of the following month. For example, data for January were posted in the second week of February. Therefore, the figures in the table above and below are only ever accurate up to the end of the previous month.

US Air Force reported air operations, Afghanistan 2015
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties
with at least one weapon release
411
Total CAS sorties 4,676
Total weapons released 947

 

Monitoring the US drone and air strikes in Afghanistan: A new project for the Bureau

The current international missions in Afghanistan sprang into life on January 1 2015, with clear roots in the international military operations that came before.

The Nato-led operation, Resolute Support Mission (RSM), is a non-combat mission in the country to train, assist and advise the Afghan police and army – a role it inherited from Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf). There are currently 40 countries contributing soldiers to RSM, ranging from more than 870 Georgian troops to one from Luxembourg.

The US mission, Operation Freedom Sentinel (OFS) in part fulfills the same functions as RSM. There are 9,800 US soldiers in the country and approximately 3,000 of them are there to hunt terrorists. This counter-terrorism element of OFS has been inherited from the 14 year long Operation Enduring Freedom, the banner US and allied forces first entered Afghanistan under back in October 2001 to hunt down al Qaeda.

After the US and its allies scattered the Taliban and al Qaeda in 2001, the UN sent in a peacekeeping force to secure the capital. This assistance force, Isaf, was meant to last six months to allow the government to find its feet and hold elections. In 2003 the UN decided to hand over control of Isaf to Nato. As the years went by, it became less about peacekeeping and more about fighting the Afghan Taliban insurgency.

Similarly, Operation Enduring Freedom changed from its initial special operations-focused hunt for terrorists. It too became increasingly focused on countering the Taliban insurgency.

The provinces of Afghanistan: US strikes have reportedly been focused in the south and east of the country. By UNAMA the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

 

The US has considerable firepower at its disposal to support this mission. The Air Force operates F-16 strike, aircraft stationed at Bagram Air Base near Kabul, as well as Predator and Reaper drones based at Kandahar and Jalalabad. The US Army still has Apache attack helicopters in the country. The CIA still operates drones from Afghanistan and US Air Force special forces units continue to fly AC-130 gunships, including the aircraft that carried out the catastrophic October 3 strike in Kunduz that hit a charity-run hospital.

The Bureau’s data by month for 2015


January 2015

AFG001
January 1 2015
♦ Unknown killed

A US military official told the Bureau a US precision strike on this day was “conducted… against individuals threatening the force”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Spera district, Khost province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG002
January 3 2015

♦ 18 reported killed

A reported US air strike in Afghanistan killed 18 people in the Gayan district of the southeastern Paktika province. The aircraft targeted a convoy in the evening, according to the Muklis Afghan, spokesman for the local governor. He said: “NATO’s precision airstrikes have targeted a convoy of terrorists late Friday evening, killing at least 18 militants and destroying three of their pick-up vehicles.” However according to Nisar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai, a senior police official, the attack hit in the early morning and killed some foreigners.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Gayan district, Paktika province
References: Kuna, Anadolu Agency, Press TV, Xinhua

AFG003
January 3 2015

♦ 7 reported killed

Seven people were killed in a “US precision strike”, a US army official told the Bureau. The “individuals [were] threatening the force during an operation”. It was not clear what operation the official referred to and would not be drawn on what “the force” refers to. The official said the strike hit on January 3 however Afghan sources said it came on Sunday January 4.

The seven were reportedly from the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network. Unnamed Afghan officials said the strike targeted a vehicle which was completely destroyed in the attack. This was corroborated by Abdul Haseeb Sediqi, a spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service. The attack hit in the morning, according to local media reports.

The attack hit the same day as a CIA drone strike killed 6-10 people in Datta Khel in North Waziristan, Pakistan – approximately 24 miles from Spera as the crow flies. The attack also hit the day after Afghan security forces in the eastern Laghman province reportedly arrested a suicide bomber and commander from the Haqqani Network.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Sperah district, Khost province
References: Khaama Press, Anadolu Agency, Xinhua, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG004
January 6 2015
♦ Unknown killed or injured

It is not clear how many people were killed or injured in this strike, though a preliminary investigation by officials at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul determined that all casualties were “positively identified as combatants”.

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Dara i Pech district, Kunar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG005
January 7 2015

♦ 3 reported killed

A suspected US drone strike reportedly killed three people in the eastern province of Logar, according to Iranian and Venezuelan state broadcasters. There were no more details about the time of the strike, whether it hit a building or vehicles, or the identity, age or nationality of the people reported killed.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Logar province
References: Press TV, TeleSUR

AFG006
January 8 2015

♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

Six people were killed in a reported US drone strike in the eastern Nangarhar province. The strike reportedly hit the “insurgents’ sanctuary in Shaknor” late at night. The attack was confirmed to local media by Hazra Hussain Mashriqiwal, spokesman for the provincial police headquarters. The strike reportedly killed a commander. There were no reported casualties among the local residents, Bakhtar News reported.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chikanawr area, Lal Pura district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Kuna, Bakhtar News, Press TV, Pajhwok

AFG007
January 11 2015
♦ 8 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

US air or drone strikes killed eight people, Afghan officials said. The dead were Taliban fighters, according to border police spokesman Edris Mohmand.

“Afghan national security forces conducted a joint clearance operation in Lal Pura district early Sunday morning which was supported by US-led coalition’s airstrikes,” provincial governor’s spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai reportedly said.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chikanawr area, Lal Pura district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Anadolu Agency, Khaama Press

AFG008
January 16 2015
♦ 3 reported killed
♦ 0-1 civilians reported killed

The Nazyan district police said in a statement that three people were reportedly killed in a US drone strike. Anonymous provincial officials told Press TV that a young boy was killed in the strike as he watched his herd of sheep.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: Associated Press, Press TV

AFG009
January 17 2016
♦ Unknown killed or injured

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September.

The US received allegations that an unknown number of civilians were harmed in this attack, however a preliminary investigation by Resolute Support and the Afghan government rejected the allegation, saying it was “disproved by strike video”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Lal Pur district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG010
January 19 2015
♦ Unknown killed or injured

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. The US did not say how many civilians were allegedly injured or killed in this strike however it said there was a preliminary investigation performed by Resolute Support, which concluded the “allegation [was] disproved by [the] strike footage”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG010C
January 29 2015

♦ 4 reported killed

At least four people were killed in the Nazyan district of Nangarhar province. The strike reportedly killed members of the Pakistan Taliban.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: Dawn

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter carrying U.S. leaders and advisers travels to the regional police logistics center in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 17, 2015. The service members are assigned to the Train, Advise, Assist Command East, Resolute Support Mission and Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jarrod Morris
A US Black Hawk helicopter carrying US leaders and advisers (US DOD)

February 2015

AFG010Ci
February 1 2015
♦ 8 reported killed
♦ 6 reported injured

Pakistan newspaper The Nation reported a “Nato air strike,” citing an “unconfirmed report”. The attack reportedly killed “at least 8 armed Taliban including 4 Pakistani ‘insurgents’”. The attack hit while the men were plotting operations, the report said.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Nuristan province
References: The Nation (Pk)

February 3-4 2015
♦ 9 reported killed
♦ 1 reported injured

A US-Afghan ground raid left nine dead and injured the leader of a Pakistan Taliban splinter group.

The operation continued for two days in the eastern province of Nangahar. Omer Khalid Khorasani (aka Abdul Wali) was injured, according to Ehasnullah Ehsan, his group’s spokesman.

Khorasani commanded the Jamaat ul Ahrar group, a faction that split from the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) in Autumn 2014. It was responsible for the November 2 2014 attack on the India-Pakistan border crossing at Wagah that killed at least 45 people. The Wagah crossing hosts a flag-lowering ceremony each day at dusk which attacks spectators.

The strike operation involved Nato forces, a US spokesman said: “Coalition forces were with Afghan national security forces in an advise and assist role, in line with the security agreements, during an operation in Nangahar province Feb. 3 and 4.”

US air and ground operations are common on the Afghan-Pakistan border, despite Nato’s International Security Assistance Force leaving Afghanistan at the end of 2014. US and Afghan forces have killed 200 alleged militants on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan, Kabul’s ambassador to Pakistan said.

Type of operation: Ground operation – US-Afghan joint raid
Location: Nangahar province
References: Express Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Dawn, Express Tribune

AFG011
February 8 2015

♦ 6-8 reported killed

US drones reportedly killed at least six people, including a senior insurgent in the violence ridden southern province of Helmand. The deputy provincial governor said it was a drone strike. A US official confirmed the attack took place, describing it as a “precision strike“.

The strike killed Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim (aka Abdul Rauf Aliza), 33, a relative by marriage, and at least four others – Pakistanis according to provincial police chief Nabi Jan Mulakhel. Khadim had been a leading Afghan Taliban figure, working as the group’s shadow governor in the central-southern Uruzgan province in 2011. He was a former Guantanamo detainee – the US picked him up in 2001 but later decided that he was not much of a threat, despite believing he was more significant a player than he said he was. He was released into house arrest in Kabul from which he either escaped or was released.

However Khadim split from the Taliban and declared himself a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis). He had started his own militia fighting the Taliban and Pakistan government, a local said, which gave him popular local support.

While Isis has expressed an interest in expansion, it is not clear to what extent they have done in Afghanistan and Pakistan, if at all. International Crisis Group’s Graeme Smith told the Guardian: “In the context of an insurgency that kills thousands of Afghan national security forces every year, scattered reports about a few people in the mountains wearing black is not an immediate concern.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Azankarez, Kajak district, Helmand province
References: Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New York Times, Reuters, BBC, Daily Telegraph

AFG012
February 10 2015

♦ 2 reported killed

A “US precision strike” left two people dead who were “threatening the force during an operation in Khas Kunar district, Konar province,” according to a US spokesman who refused to elaborate on the nature of the operation or force.

Brigadier General Abdul Habib Sayedkhel, the Kunar police chief, also said two alleged militants were killed in a drone strike in his province. He said the attack killed two Taliban commanders of the Khorasan group in Khas Kunar district, said.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Khas Kunar district, Kunar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email, Pahjwok

AFG013
February 11 2015

♦ 2-9 reported killed

A US “precision strike” killed either two or nine people. A US spokesman said the strike “resulted in the deaths of two individuals threatening the force during an operation in Nazyan district.” He refused to explain the nature of the force he referred to. However Dawn newspaper reported US drones killed nine people – allegedly members of the Pakistan Taliban. The strike hit Nazyan in Nangarhar province. This is directly across the border from Pakistan’s tribal areas where CIA drones have been striking at various armed groups since June 2004.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email, Dawn

US-marines-Kandahar-airfield
Air Force engineers lay gravel on an access road at Kandahar Airfield (USAF)

AFG014
February 18 2015

♦ 8 reported killed

Local news service Pajhwok reported eight alleged Taliban insurgents were killed by a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, citing a local police source.

The drone killed “a dreaded Taliban commander,” Noor Khan, when it fired a missile in the Fathi Khani area, according to Colonel Ayub Hussainkhel – police commander in the 301 eastern border zone. The attack reportedly hit in the afternoon.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Fathi Khani area, Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: Pahjwok

February 25 2015
The US launched a preliminary investigation into an allegation of civilian casualties from an air strike on this day. The investigation by Resolute Support found that “no airstrike” occurred on this day. This information came to the Bureau from a US military spokesman at Resolute Support. It did not include details of the allegations, such as the number of people allegedly harmed nor whether they were supposedly killed or injured.

Location: Maywand district, Kandahar province
Reference: US Forces – Afghanistan via email


March 2015

AFG015
March 2 2015

♦ 1 reported killed
♦ 0-1 civilian reported killed

A single source reported a drone strike in the Alishir district of Khost province. It killed Gul Nawaz, 75, a Pakistani refugee, according to Mubariz Zadran, the spokesman to the governor of Khost. Zadran said he had tried to reach Nato forces in Khost province for more details but said he had not received a response.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Alishir district, Khost province
References: Paiwandgah

AFG016
March 10 2015
♦ 6 reported killed

Six insurgents were killed when a US drone destroyed the “corolla vehicle” they were riding in, according to the provincial police spokesman.

A US military official told the Bureau US forces conducted a precision strike “against individuals threatening the force”.

Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal told Khaama Press the alleged insurgents were transporting weapons and ammunition when the attack hit. Mashriqiwal identified the dead as: Mullah Toor, reportedly the Taliban shadow governor; Rahmanullah, Toor’s “assistant”; Hasti Gul; Qadar Gul; Nasrat and Amrullah.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamond area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email, Khaama Press

AFG017
March 11 2015
♦ Unknown killed or injured

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. The US did not say how many civilians were allegedly injured or killed in this strike however a preliminary investigation by Resolute Support headquarters concluded the “allegation [was] disproved by pre-strike and post-strike footage”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG017C
March 12 2015
♦ 6 reported killed

Six alleged insurgents were killed in a possible US drone strike on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, according to “sources”. The attack reportedly hit a “militant hideout”. Two “key militant commanders” were reported among the dead.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Reena area
References: Geo TV

AFG018
March 13 2015

♦ 7 reported killed

A precision strike hit in Lal Pur, Nangarhar, targeting “individuals who were threatening the force,” a US military official told the Bureau. Media reported seven alleged Taliban were killed by a US drone strike, including a commander.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Lal Pur district, Nangarhar
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email, Press TV

AFG018C
March 15 2015

♦ 10 people killed
♦ 6 people reported injured

A US drone strike or Afghan ground raid killed Hafiz Waheed, the commander of an anti-government militia. Several reports of the attack said Afghan forces carried out the operation though a Taliban commander said the US was responsible for the attack – the US denied this. Some reports added confusion by saying Afghan forces carried out the attack before describing it as an “airstrike”.

Waheed had replaced his uncle Abdul Rauf Khadim as the group’s leader after Khadim was killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan on February 6. All the dead were reported “associated with Islamic State group” however a Taliban commander told AFP that Khadim had not formally joined IS and IS had not recognised him.”

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Sangin district, Helmand province
References: AFP, BBC Pashto

AFG018Ci
March 23 2015

♦ 2 reported killed

Ahmad Zia Abdulazai, spokesman for Nangarhar governor, said he was only aware of an airstrike in the afternoon March 23. It killed two people. This is possibly a second strike to hit the province on March 23.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: Associated Press

U.S. Marines and Georgian and Afghan soldiers prepare their equipment before conducting a patrol near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 6, 2015. U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. Amanda Azubuike
US Marines and Georgian and Afghan soldiers prepare before going on a patrol near Bagram Airfield (US DOD)

 

March 17 2015
This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Nato’s Resolute Support headquarters found “no airstrike occurred”.

Location: Nahr e Saraj district, Helmand province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG019
March 18 2015
♦ 1 civilian injured

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support found a civilian was injured in the attack. The matter was “subject to further National Investigation” by the US military, though the results have yet to be made public.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chinar Khor district, Kunar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG020
March 23 2015

♦ 9-13 reported killed
♦ “Several people” injured

At least nine members of various Pakistani armed groups were killed by a US drone strike on the Afghan border with Pakistan.

The attack killed fighters from the TTP, Lashkar e Islam (LeI) and Abdullah Azam Brigade, according to unnamed Pakistani and Afghan intelligence officials. A Nato spokesman confirmed the US carried out the attack, saying: “We can confirm there was a US precision strike during an operation in Nasyan district, Nangarhar province, 23 March.”

A Pakistani security official told AFP: “The strike took place when an important meeting of militants was in progress and a car bomb was being prepared for some suicide attack… There are two Haqqani network commanders and six TTP militants among the dead.”

Intelligence sources identified four LeI members killed in the attack as: Shakir Sipah, a driver of LeI leader Mangal Bagh, Fazal Ameen, Shamat Khan Sipah and Wajid, all LeI commanders. Two TTP commanders, Yaseen Zubair and Abdul Rehman Shinwari, were named among the dead as well as Yar Wali, a TTP “training instructor”.

The attack hit across the border from the Tirrah valley in Khyber Agency, Pakistan. The area had been the scene of fierce fighting between the Pakistan Army and TTP elements. Pakistan claimed it had killed scores of alleged militants in air strikes in the days before this attack. Eight more alleged militants were reportedly killed on March 24, when this attack was reported.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Nazyan area, Nangarhar
References: Associated Press, Dawn, The News, AFP, Reuters, Jagland Post, AFP, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG021
March 24 2015

♦ 11 reported killed

A US drone strike reportedly killed 11 TTP members, hours after AFG009 killed at least nine people in neighbouring Nangarhar province. Pakistani intelligence officials told Reuters six or seven senior TTP commanders were killed – the Taliban reportedly denied this. One source suggested four of the dead were part of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Kunar province
References: Reuters, Voice of America, Middle East Press, KhyberNews.tv

March 25 2015
Rockets fired from Pakistan killed five people in Khost province. No group claimed responsibility for the attack which hit civilian buildings.

References: Afghanistan Times, TOLO News

AFG022
March 25 2015
♦ Unknown reported killed

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support decided the “allegation [was] disproved by strike footage”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Sia Gird district, Parwan province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG023
March 26 2015

♦ Unknown reported killed

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support decided the “allegation [was] disproved by strike footage”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Zurma district, Paktia province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email


April 2015

Afghan Air Force strike
April 4 2015
♦ 5 civilians injured

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported five civilians were injured in an Afghan National Army helicopter attack. The aircraft had been deployed in support of Afghan security forces who were under attack from a large group of Taliban. It opened fire in a civilian-populated area injuring the civilians, including a woman and one girl.

Type of attack: AAF strike
Location: Pusht Rod district, Farah
References: United Nations

AFG024
April 12 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

Three men were killed in a reported US drone strike at around 6am local time, the provincial police chief said. A US military official told the Bureau a precision strike was conducted against “individuals threatening the force.”

The strike reportedly targeted “militant hideouts” and killed Mullah Abid, a senior Taliban commander, along with two others.

This strike reportedly hit around the same time or shortly after a strike killed four people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan area. That attack reportedly hit before dawn which was approximately 5.30am.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Dara i Pech district, Kunar province
References: Khaama Press, Press TV, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG024C
April 17 2015

♦ 4 reported killed

Four people were reportedly killed in a possible US drone strike in Afghanistan’s Paktia province. Police colonel Mohammad Zama said the strike hit a car in the morning of April 17. Two Taliban commanders were reportedly among the dead.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Sahako, Zurmat district, Paktia province
References: Press TV


US F-16s from 555th Squadron arrive at Bagram airbase on April 25 to support US and Nato operations in Afghanistan.

AFG025
April 28 2015
♦ 3 reported killed
♦ 1 person reported injured

Three people were killed in a reported US drone strike in Kunar province. The attack hit in a mountainous region of the province.

A US military official told the Bureau US forces conducted a precision strike “against indiviudals threatening the force”.

The provincial police chief, Brigadier Abdul Habib Syed Khel, reportedly said: “All the four armed opponents belong to Taliban Islamic Emirate. They are residents of Degal Darra area. They were active against the government in this area.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Degal, Chapa Darre district, Kunar province
References: Press TV, Frontier Post/Afghan Islamic Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
April 29 2015
♦ Unknown killed
♦ At least four injured

The UN mission in Afghanistan reported an Afghan helicopter injured four civilians, including one woman and a 10-year old boy. The Afghan government said the strike also killed and injured Taliban.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Gortepa area, Kunduz city, Kunduz
References: United Nations


May 2015

AFG026
May 3 2015

♦ 12 reported killed

Twelve alleged insurgents were killed when a US drone destroyed two vehicles in Nangarhar province, according to the provincial police.

This “precision strike” targeted “individuals threatening the force,” according to a US military official.

On May 4 Hazrat Hussain Mashiriqwal, provincial police spokesman said: “Yesterday at 5pm the US drone targeted Taliban insurgents travelling by a corolla wagon car and a motorbike. All of them have been killed and their vehicles were destroyed.”

A local insurgent leader was reportedly killed in the attack. Mullah Nesar and his gang were reportedly responsible for ambushing Afghan forces on the road to Pakistan. An unnamed official said: “He and his militants were on their way to conduct an imminent attack on the highway when he came under fire.”

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support decided the “allegation [was] disproved by pre-strike and strike footage”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Mohmand Dara District, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, Tolo News, Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG026C
May 3 2015
♦ Unknown killed or injured

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary, joint investigation by Resolute Support and the government of Afghanistan determined that unspecified casualties were “caused by [Afghan security force] ground fire”. There was no indication of whether the Afghan ground fire occurred in a joint operation with the US, involving American aerial assets, or if the US was not involved at all.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike, or Afghan ground operation
Location: Seyagird district, Parwan province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG027
May 4 2015

♦ 17 reported killed

The second drone strike in two days to hit Nangarhar province killed 17 people, according to the provincial police.

The attack reportedly targeted a gathering of insurgents in a “hideout” in the Mohmand Dara district of the province.

A local resident said two strikes hit in quick succession, killing rescuers. If true, this is a concerning event – the Bureau revealed the CIA was carrying out so-called follow-up strikes in Pakistan to deliberately target rescuers.

Provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashiriqwal said: “A Taliban commander named Mullah Daoud is among the dead.”

Taliban insurgents have intensified their activities in Nangarhar province, as they constantly infiltrate Afghan soil from neighboring Pakistan,” he added. “Since Taliban insurgents have increased their movements in the eastern region, we and our allies act accordingly.” A team had reportedly been dispatched to the area to try to identify the bodies.

US spokesman Christopher Belcher confirmed the US carried out that strike during “military operations” in the province.

Ulfatullah, a local resident, said: “I heard loud explosion and they came to know that militants had been targeted. Soon after the first attack, rebels came to collect bodies of their colleagues when another they came under another attack. More than 15 militants are killed in the two missile attack.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Dabili, Landi Basawal area, Mohmand Dara district, Nangarhar province
References: Tolo News, IANS/EFE, Anadolu Agency, Press TV, Khaama Press

AFG028
May 7 2015

♦ 6-7 reported killed
♦ 0-1 child killed

A US strike destroyed a vehicle in eastern Kunar province, reportedly killing six or seven people.

The province’s police chief General Abdul Habib Sayed Khel said the drone strike targeted a group of insurgents that were operating in the region. The group’s leader and his son were reportedly among the dead. It is not clear how old the son was when he was killed.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Khas Khar district, Kunar province
References: Associated Press, Press TV, Anadolu Agency, Ariana News

AFG029
May 7 2015

♦ 4 reported killed

Four alleged insurgents were killed in a possible US drone strike in Nangarhar, eastern Afghanistan. The strike hit a car late in the evening, according to provincial police spokesman Major Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal. A US official confirmed to the Bureau the US carried out a strike in this district on this date.

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support decided the “allegation [was] disproved by pre-strike and post-strike footage.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Goshti district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Press TV, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

A U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter flies over the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan on Oct. 17, 2013. The Black Hawk helicopter is routinely used to conduct logistical support, air assault, and medical evacuation mission in areas not easily accessible by land across eastern and northern Afghanistan.
US Army Blackhawk helicopter flying over Nangarhar province in October 2013 (Capt. Peter Smedberg/US Army)

 

AFG030
May 9 2015
♦ 13 reported killed

A US official and two Afghan provincial police officials including the chief of police confirmed a US drone strike killed 13 people in eastern province of Nangarhar. A senior Taliban figure was reportedly among the dead.

The US military spokesman told the Bureau: “The US conducted a precision strike during operations in Lalpur district, Nangarhar province, May 9.” However he refused “to discuss the details” of the strike.

Provincial police chief Brigadier General Fazl Ahmad Sherzad reportedly said an airborne attack targeted a “militant hideout” in Nangarhar though did not specify exactly where. The spokesman for the provincial police Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashiqiwal said a drone carried out the attack and killed a Taliban commander, Gul Agha. He was reportedly the Taliban’s shadow governor for Nangarhar.

Afghan security forces support the air strikes, which have been so effective,” said Mashiqiwal. Turkish news service Anadolu Agency reported strikes had killed around 30 people in the preceding ten days in Nangarhar alone. This estimate matches the casualty estimates recorded for the Bureau in two strikes in the province in May.

Gul Agha was the shadow governor of Nangarhar when he was killed. In 2010 the US government put him on a sanctions list, describing him as “the head of the Taliban’s financial commission and is part of a recently-created Taliban council that coordinates the collection of zakat [tithe] from Baluchistan Province, Pakistan.” It also said he had “collected money for suicide attacks in Kandahar” and had been “involved in the disbursement of funds for Taliban fighters and their families”. The sanction notice was issued by the US treasury department on July 22 2010. It said Gul Agha was born in Band e Timor, Kandahar, approximately in 1972. It described Agha as a significant figure in the short-lived Taliban government in Kabul:

A childhood friend of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, Gul Agha has served as Omar’s principal finance officer and one of his closest advisors. He lived in the presidential palace with Omar during Taliban rule, served as his personal financial secretary and was one of Omar’s closest advisors. At one time, individuals were not permitted to meet with Mullah Omar unless approved by Gul Agha. Gul Agha traveled in late 2006 to obtain weapon parts and in December 2005 facilitated the movement of people and goods to Taliban training camps in Iran.

He had five aliases, according to the treasury department: Mullah Gul Agha, Mullah Gul Agha Akhund, Hidayatullah, Haji Hidayatullah and Hayadatullah.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Mach Megi area, Lal Pur district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Khaama Press, Anadolu Agency, US Treasury Department, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
May 11 2015
♦ 1 civilian reported killed, a child

An Afghan National Army helicopter killed a three-year old girl in a botched strike in Baghlan, north of Kabul. The aircraft was flying in support of Afghan troops on the ground involved in a firefight with the Taliban. The helicopter opened fire and damaged civilian homes in the area. Afghan police officials promised local elders they would investigate the attack.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Baghlan e Jadid district, Baghlan province
References: United Nations

AFG031
May 14 2015

♦ 4 reported killed
♦ 1 people reported injured

A reported US drone strike hit a car in Bati Kot killing four people including Muslahuddin, a commander, and injured one. A US spokesman confirmed to the Bureau “a US precision strike” hit Bati Kot district, Nangarhar, on May 14. However the official said he was “not going to discuss the details” of the attack. The target was “a ‘Saracha’ type vehicle,” according to Khaama Press.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Bati Kot district, Nangarhar
References: Khaama Press, Frontier Post, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG032
May 15 2015

♦ 5-41 reported killed

There are approximately four more strikes after the attack on the night of May 14 that killed 5-41 people. One was in Nazyan district, one in Chahrdahi in Bati Kot district, Bandar Darah in Dur Baba, and one in Murdai in Achin district.

Reported among the dead: the Taliban’s shadow chief in Nazyan district, two prominent commanders named Abdullah and Meya Saheb, and the shadow Taliban chief for Achin.

The Bureau approached the US force in Afghanistan with a list of reported US strikes seeking comment. A military official responded with a list of dates and locations saying: “US forces conducted precision strikes against individuals threatening the force in the following districts on the dates indicated.” Every date listed was matched to a location that included a district and a province except May 15 which was matched merely with the province, Nangarhar. This could indicate the array of US attacks on that day hit in more than one district.

The Ministry of Defence reportedly said: “Coalition forces drone strikes in different districts of Nangarhar province have killed 45 Taliban insurgents, including two prominent commanders, Abdullah and Meya Saheb.”

Spokesman for Nangarhar provincial police, Major Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, said the Taliban’s shadow chief for Achin district was killed. Ulfatullah, local resident, said the drones killed several in the Morday area on night of May 15. Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said five were killed, including shadow chief of Nazyan district, in Bati Kot and Nazyan districts.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Various districts, Nangarhar province
References: Geo TV, Press TV, Anadolu Agency, Pahjwok, Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

May 18 2015
This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. However a preliminary investigation by Resolute Support found that “no airstrike occurred”.

Location: Various districts, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG033
May 21 2015

♦ 4-5 reported killed

A US strike killed at least four Taliban insurgents, according to the Kunar provincial police spokesman. A US military official confirmed to the Bureau that US forces conducted a precision strikes on this date in Watapor district.

Kunar police spokesman Abdul Habib Sayedkhaili told journalists an evening strike killed a commander named Qureshi. “Since Kunar is a mountainous province covered with trees, it is almost impossible to track insurgent groups. Drone strikes against insurgent hideouts and convoys have been one of the best ways to tackle the increasing insurgency in the province,” Anadolu Agency.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Katar village, Watapor district, Kunar province
References: Tolo News, Anadolu Agency, BBC Pashto, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG033C
May 22 2015
♦ 5 reported killed
♦ Possible civilian deaths
♦ Several people reportedly injured

A single source reported a second strike in Kunar province in two days. The attack reportedly killed five people. Local officials told Press TV the dead were Taliban insurgents. However locals said civilians were among the dead, the broadcaster reported.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Kunar province
References: Press TV

AFG034
May 27 2015
♦ 5 reported killed

A US strike reportedly killed five people including Mullah Younus, “a leading commander” in the area according to Pajhwok. Turkish news agency Anadolu reported a second name of a man killed in this strike, Mullah Wali ul Rahman. He was described as a “suspected Taliban commander” however it is not clear if this was the name of a second casualty or an alternative name for Younus. This was one of several “precision strikes” included on a list of attacks a US military official confirmed to the Bureau were carried out by US forces.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Want Waigal district, Nuristan province
References: Press TV, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG035
May 28 2015

♦ 1 reported killed

A reported US drone strike hit in Kunar and killed a senior Taliban insurgent. The strike killed “notorious insurgent commander” Maulvi Abdullah, according to Colonel Mohammad Noman Hatifi, spokesman for the 201 Selab Military Corps. A US military official confirmed to the Bureau that a strike had taken place on this day in this district.

This and the preceding strike came on the same day fighters apparently loyal to Islamic State, or Daesh, were reportedly engaged in heavy fighting in Nangarhar province with Taliban insurgents. Colonel Hatifi told Anadolu: “The fighting between Taliban and Daesh in the mountainous areas has left five Taliban dead. A Taliban commander, Mawlawi Abbas has also been taken captive by Daesh.” Afghan security forces had reportedly not got engaged in the fighting.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Watapor district, Kunar province
References: Press TV, Pajhwok, Anadolu, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
May 29 2015
♦ 16 reported killed

A series of Afghan air strikes reportedly killed 16 people in the western province of Farah. The dead were said to be Taliban and Islamic State fighters.

The strike targeted “militant hideouts” in Sar Gazan, Gul Shotor, Dahan e Jamal, Ghazi and Dahan e Kashkanak areas of Anardara district, according to provincial army spokesman Hanif Rezaye. Five vehicles were also destroyed “along with some weapons”. A local administrator confirmed the details of the operations to Pajhwok. A local resident said four Islamic State fighters were killed.

The attack hit in a province that border Iran. There had not yet been any US strikes in this area, since January 1 2015 when the Bureau began recording data on American operations.

It was not clear from the reports which Afghan aircraft carried out the attack. However it seems most likely to have been with helicopters rather than fixed wing. According to Flight Global’s World Air Forces almanac, the Afghan air force had two strike-capable fixed-wing aircraft, A-29 Super Tocanoes made by Brazilian firm Embraer. It seemed more likely some of the seven Russian Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters carried out the operations.

Type of attack: AAF Air Strike
Location: Various areas, Anardara district, Farah province.
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

AFG036
May 31 2015

♦ 2-3 reported killed
♦ 0-3 civilians reported killed, 0-2 children
♦ 4 reported injured

Missiles hit a school in the eastern Logar province killing two students and possibly their teacher. Three more students were reportedly injured in the attack.

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A joint, preliminary investigation by Resolute Support headquarters and the Afghan government concluded: “[The] casualties [were] positively identified as combatants.”

The two dead students were named as Nazar Mohammad and Abdul Wahid. Their teacher was identified as Fazl Bari. It was not clear if he died in the strike – Pajhwok said he was only injured whereas Reuters reported a teacher died along with two students.

Logar’s education director Mohammad Akbar Stanikzai said the attack hit at 9am. He told Pajhwok: “An operation was underway in the morning against militants, but it could not be known if the airstrike was carried out by foreign forces or local forces.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Jalozo area, Barak e Barak district, Logar province
References: Pajhwok, Reuters, US Forces – Afghanistan via email


June 2015

AFG037
June 3
2015
♦ 3-6 reported killed
♦ Possible civilian deaths
♦ 3 people reported injured
Possible drone strike

Between three and six people were reported killed in a US strike in Kunar province. Four of the dead were reportedly Pakistanis.

There was some suggestion that civilians may have been among the dead though provincial security sources were adamant the dead were Taliban insurgents. The provincial police chief said: “A US unmanned craft unleashed a missile at militant hideouts killing at least three militants.” A US military official said US forces carried out a precision strike in this district, on this date.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Shogam area, Shigal district, Kunar province
References: Press TV, Anadolu Agency, Khabar Afghan, Khorasan News, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG037C
June 3 2015
♦ 4 reported killed

Four alleged Taliban insurgents were reportedly killed in a possible US drone strike on “their hideout”.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency

Pre-flight checks: F-16s get ready to take off from Bagram air base on October 30 2015 (Photo: US Air Force/Sgt Joseph Swafford)
Pre-flight checks: F-16s get ready to take off from Bagram air base on October 30 2015 (Photo: US Air Force/Sgt Joseph Swafford)

 

AFG038
June 4 2015

♦ 1 reported killed

A single Taliban insurgent was reportedly killed in this US attack. A US military official confirmed the strike took place but made no comment on any casualties. The strike hit at 6.30pm (2pm GMT), according to provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal. The strike reportedly hit a “Taliban hideout”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, Tolo News, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG039
June 4 2015
♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 0-1 civilian reported killed

A US strike killed six people in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Taliban commander Maulvi Aziz was among the dead, according to the provincial police spokesman Hazarat Hussain Mashiqiwal. The US forces in Afghanistan carried out a precision strike on this date in this district, a US official confirmed to the Bureau.

The strike targeted a vehicle. It was a Toyota Corolla according to TOLO News though the Afghan Taliban’s online outlet Shahamat said it was a Mazda truck. Shahamat did not say how many people were killed in total but it said the driver was a civilian.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, TOLO News, IANS, Shahamat English, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG040
June 4 2015

♦ 11 reported killed

A third US strike of the day reportedly killed 11 people. The drones reportedly destroyed two vehicles in the same district as the previous attack. Provincial police spokesman Hazarat Hussain Mashriqiwal said: “The second attack targeted two vehicles in the same district and killed eleven Taliban.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province
References: Tolo News, IANS

AFG040C
June 5 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

Three alleged Pakistan Taliban fighters were reportedly killed in a strike in Kunar province.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Shegal district, Kunar province
References: RTA

AFG041
June 5 2015
♦ 14 reported killed
♦ 14 civilians reported killed

The UN and Afghan government said 14 civilians were killed in this strike though the US maintained all 14 were insurgents.

This was a counter-terrorism strike, an American official told the Bureau. It either targeted a funeral for a Taliban commander, a funeral for a local man, or it targeted men retreating after attacking a police border checkpoint.

Two pick-up trucks were destroyed and 14 were dead but beyond this, the Bureau could not find conclusive evidence to determine which of these narratives was correct despite a four-month investigation. You can read the full story here.

Initial reports had as many as 34 people dead in the attack. Unnamed and named Afghan officials, politicians and a Taliban spokesman gave different versions of what happened in this attack.

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. Nato’s Resolute Support and the Afghan government launched a joint investigation of this attack. However the US told the Bureau “no conclusions could be reached” about who was killed, leaving the “allegation of 14 civilian dead disputed”. It was the only one in the list of 22 to be marked “disputed”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Ali Shir, Tere Zayi district, Khost province
References: Pajhwok, Tolo News, Press TV, Voice of America, Anadolu Agency, Khaama Press, Press TV, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, The Bureau, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG041C
June 5 2015
♦ 10 reported killed

Two Taliban commanders were reportedly among 10 alleged insurgents killed in a possible US drone strike.

The single report for this attack did not specify if it was an international or Afghan strike. Twice in 2015 the US force in Afghanistan sent the Bureau partial lists of US air attacks in the country. This strike did not feature on either list.

Logar police chief Brigadier Gen Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai said the insurgents had gathered for a meeting and were planning a major attack in the district. The Taliban’s deputy leader in Azra district, Maulvi Jalaluddin, and Azra district military chief, Maulvi Mansoor, were reportedly killed.

Type of operation: Either US or Afghan strike
Location: Azra district, Logar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG042
June 7 2015

♦ 1 reported killed

At least one person was killed in a US strike in Kunar province, according to an Afghan official. The US confirmed it carried out the strike to the Bureau. However the military official would not say who was killed.

The attack hit a domestic compound, killing a key commander, provincial police chief Brigadier Abdul Hasib Syed Khel said: “Acting upon intelligence report, security forces conducted drone attack on Taliban hideout in Chapa Dara district Sunday evening, killing Taliban key commander Mullah Asmatullah.” Asmatullah was reportedly in charge of 100 fighters.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chapa Dara district, Kunar province
References: Cihan, Xinhua, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG043
June 8 2015

♦ 7 reported killed
♦ 0-6 children reported killed

Seven more people were killed when a US strike in Nangarhar “bombed a rebels’ hideout“. A US military official told the Bureau a precision strike hit this district on this day though made no comment on casualties.

Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal, the provincial police spokesman, said a US drone strike hit a group of alleged insurgents. Lal Pur district chief Haji Ghalib said a local commander Spargahy – a nom-de-guerre – was among the dead. He was reportedly an Afghan Taliban figure who joined Islamic State.

Five of the dead were Bati Kot High School students who had been taken for military training, Ghalib said. A spokesman for the department of education, Asif Shinwari, said four of the dead were high school students and two had graduated this year.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Samso area, Lal Pur district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Khaama Press, Pahjwok, DPA, Afghan Zariza, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG044
June 8 2015

♦ 3 reported killed

A second strike of the day, again in Lal Pur district, killed three people in a “Saracha” vehicle, according to Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal. Two of the dead were identified as Sharifullah and Shirzad.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Unknown area, Lal Pur districts, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

AFG045
June 11 2015

♦ 30 reported killed

Thirty “Arab fighters” were reportedly killed in the southeastern province of Paktika, according to the provincial authorities.

The strike hit at 8am local time (3.30am GMT) – two vehicles were reportedly destroyed.

“The killed Arab militants were working on explosives to prepare bombs for Taliban militants when they came under attack,” Nabiullah Peerkhil, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said in a statement.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Maroufkhil area, Khushamand district, Paktika province
References: Anadolu Agency, Khaama Press, Afghan Zaria, TOLO News

AFG046
June 11 2015

♦ 2 reported killed

Two more men were killed in a US strike in Paktika province, according to Nabiullah Peerkhil, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province. They were hit while reportedly riding a motorcycle.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Jarkani area, Yousufkhil District, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press, Afghan Zaria, TOLO News

A patrol at Bargarm Airfield heading out on a route clearance mission in September 2015 (Photo: US Army/Sgt David Wheeler)
A patrol at Bargarm Airfield heading out on a route clearance mission in September 2015 (Photo: US Army/Sgt David Wheeler)

 

AFG046C
June 13 2015
♦ 3+ reported killed
♦ 3 civilians reported killed

Afghan Taliban propaganda outlet Shahamat reported a drone strike killed three civilians in Kunar. Locals reportedly said a “teacher and two passers-by” were killed in the attack. This was the only source for this attack and consequently has been listed here as a point for further investigation. The reported death toll has not been included in our casualty estimates.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Watapur district, Kunar province
References: Shahamat English

AFG047
June 14 2015

♦ 7-15 reported killed

A US drone or air strike killed at least seven and as many as 15 people.

Afghanistan’s domestic spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said 12 insurgents and three named commanders were killed. The Taliban denied any senior insurgents were killed, saying seven fighters died.

Afghan security sources were conflicted over who was killed. An NDS press release named three of the dead: Omar Zadran, the shadow governor of Kunar, and two Taliban commanders Mawlawi Asghar and Mawlawi Shahabudin.

However this was contradicted by Kunar’s provincial police chief Brigadier Abdul Habib Sayed Khel. He told the Bureau they had not been killed in the attack. He said 14 people were killed and identified one of them, Mansour, as a local Taliban trainer.

The attack hit a group of houses which had been abandoned by its owners weeks before. The insurgents were holding a meeting when the attack hit, Sayde Khel said. The local residents did not claim the bodies, suggesting they were not from the area, he added. Some of the dead could have been Pakistan Taliban.

The strike was “based on intelligence provided by NDS”. The US-led Nato mission in Afghanistan confirmed it conducted a precision strike targeting “indiviuduals threatening the force”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Dangam district, Kunar province
References: Associated Press, Reuters, Stars and Stripes, TOLO News, Afghan Government, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
June 15 2015
♦ 11-14 reported killed

The Afghan Air Force reportedly killed 11-14 insurgents in an airstrike in the northeastern Badakhshan province.

The province’s shadow governor, Mullah Amanuddin, was killed in the attack, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai the provincial police spokesman. He said eight of the 14 dead were foreign insurgents. Local military officials also said Amanuddin was killed though put the total death toll at 11 insurgents.

Amanuddin was the third shadow governor to be killed in two days. On Sunday June 14 the shadow governor of Kunar reportedly died in a US air or drone strike (see above). The shadow governor for Nangarhar province, Maulvi Mir Ahmad Gul Hashimi, was shot dead on the streets of Peshawar in Pakistan.

Afghanistan has a fledgling air force. It lacks equipment though does have some strike-capable aircraft, including seven Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters and at least two A-29 fixed wing Super Tocanoes, according to Flight Global’s World Air Forces almanac. Khaama Press also reported that the Afghan Air Force had received a consignment of armed helicopters from the US in April, as well as the wherewithal to arm several transport helicopters.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Khol Dara e Khastak village, Juram district, Badakhshan province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Khaama Press, The News

AFG047C
June 19 2015
♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 0-6 civilians reported killed

Press TV reported a US drone strike killed six people in Paktia province. The report was vaguely sourced – citing “security sources” and “witnesses and local residents”.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Paktia province
References: Press TV

AFG048
June 15 2015
♦ 2 people killed
♦ 2 civilians killed

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Nato’s Resolute Support accepted that two civilians were killed in the attack, meaning the strike became “subject to further national investigation” by the US military. The information sent to the Bureau did not include any further information about the strike, such as how many people were killed in total or whether the civilians were killed while in the open, in a vehicle or in a building.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chak e Wardak, Wardak province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG049
June 18 2015
♦ Unknown number killed or injured

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. This was the only one of the 22 not to be investigated by Resolute Support headquarters because it was determined that the “allegation did not meet criteria for [civilian casualties]” because it involved “minor injuries not requiring medical treatment”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chak e Wardak, Wardak province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG050
June 19 2015

♦ 8 reported killed

Eight people were reportedly killed in a US strike in Nangarhar province.

The provincial police spokesman, Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, said the strike hit two vehciles at around 10am (5.30am GMT). Four of the bodies were taken to the district office – they remained unidentified, he said.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Mohmand Dara district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, 1 TV News

AFG051
June 19 2015

♦ 4-7 reported killed

Four more people were reportedly killed in the afternoon of June 19. The provincial police spokesman, Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, said: “At least four foreign militants have been killed after they were targeted by US drone missiles in the Kamar Kandaw area.” The men were on foot and all were foreigners, he said, though he could not determine their nationality.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Kamar Kandaw, Haska Meena district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, KUNA, 1 TV News, Pajhwok

AFG051C
June 20 2015

♦ 7 reported killed

A vaguely sourced report from Press TV said seven people were killed in Nangarhar. The story contained scant detail.

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: Press TV

AFG052
June 20 2015
♦ 4-9 reported killed

Four Pakistan Taliban fighters were reportedly killed when a US strike destroyed their “hideouts” in the northeastern Nuristan province. An unnamed border police commander reportedly said the insurgents had recently entered Afghanistan from Pakistan to prepare terrorist attacks from the Aghan side of the border.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Kamish district, Nuristan province
References: Bakhtar News, DND

AFG053
June 21 2015

♦ 6-7 reported killed

US drones reportedly killed six or seven people in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

A statement from the provincial police spokesman, Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, reportedly released a statement saying a “Saracha” vehicle was destroyed. The statement named Abdul Ahad, Khan Afzal, Hanifa and Doctor Omar, among the dead.

The provincial police chief, Fazel Ahmad Serzad, confirmed the strike, saying: “There were no civilians casualties during the strike.”

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. There were few details about this specific attack except that, after a preliminary investigation by Resolute Support, the allegation of civilian casualties was disproved “by strike footage”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Barikaab Dab village, Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Tolo News, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
June 27 2015
♦ 19 reported killed
♦ 1 woman reported killed
♦ 8 reported injured

An Afghan air strike killed 19 people in the embattled Kunduz province. One of the dead was reportedly a “foreign woman”.

Provincial police chief Abdul Saboor Nasrati briefed journalists on the strike. He said: “Five out of 19 killed were identified as foreigners. At least one foreign woman is among the dead.”

The attack was in support of ongoing Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) operations trying to push a resurgent Taliban out of several districts in the province. The insurgent presence in Kunduz surged as summer brought with it the fighting season in Afghanistan. The ANSF was fighting “large-scale battles” in Dasht e Archi and Chahar Dara districts when this strike hit. The ANSF had reportedly asked the US for air support in its efforts in Kunduz though the US had not carried out such attacks.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Chahar Dara district, Kunduz province
References: TOLO News, Anadolu Agency, Washington Post

AFG054
June 26 2015
♦ 6 reported killed

A US spokesman confirmed that an air attack hit in Nuristan province in the night of June 26.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Nuristan province
References: Reuters

AFG055
June 27 2015
♦ At least 1 reported killed

A US strike killed at least one person in Paktika – an al Qaeda leader. A US spokesman confirmed the “coalition” in Afghanistan carried out the attack.

It emerged on June 28 that a senior Saudi Arabian al Qaeda figure had been killed in a US air attack. It was unclear exactly when Azzam Abdullah Zureik al Maulid al Subhi was killed. Xinhua, citing TOLO News, reported he was killed on June 24. The News reported he was killed on June 25.

Al Subhi was added to the UN’s al Qaeda sanctions list on September 23 2014. He had reportedly traveled to Afghanistan in the 1990s and was “responsible for the physical training of militants and for the coordination of foreign fighters who travel to Afghanistan to fight” Western forces.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Paktika province
References: Reuters, Xinhua, The News, UN

AFG056
June 27 2015
♦ 5 reported killed
♦ 3 people reported injured

A third strike of the weekend and the second in Nuristan province killed five people. Officials briefed news agencies and the Ministry of Defence released a statement saying the air attack had killed a “dreaded commander“.

The statement said: “Nato-led forces’ unmanned planes targeted a hideout in Mardish area of Want Waygal district late Saturday, killing five militants and injuring three others.”

Khaama Press reported the attack killed Ghulamullah, “a local militant commander”, and Wahid alias Barakat and Mawlawi Khalil, both “group commanders”.

The strike hit in a province where the Afghan security forces and Taliban had fought fierce battles in the days preceding the strike. The insurgents briefly took over the entire Want Waygal district on June 26. Hundreds of fighters reportedly launched coordinated attacks on security forces across the area. Afghan security forces retook the district.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Mardish area, Want Waygal district, Nuristan province
References: Khaama Press, Xinhua, Anadolu Agency, Pajhwok, Khaama Press, Khaama Press

AFG057
June 30 2015

♦ 4-14 reported killed
♦ 12 people reported injured

A US strike hit two buildings in eastern Nangarhar province, killing 14 and wounding 12 according to Hazrat Hossein Mashrqiwal, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Mashrqiwal said: “Two safe havens of the insurgents were destroyed during the strikes and there were no civilian casualties.”

However Pakistani newspaper The News reported only four Afghan Taliban were killed in the attack. Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported the strike hit at “around 10:15pm” local time (5.45pm GMT). The attack reportedly destroyed the buildings. “Dozens of other fighters” reportedly arrived at the scene “and retrieved the dead and injured persons”.

Strike came amid reports that fighters loyal to Islamic State had pushed the Taliban out of six of 21 districts in Nangarhar.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Mach Megai area, Lal Pur district, Nangarhar province
References: DPA, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, TOLO News, Anadolu Agency, Afghan Zariza, The News


July 2015

Nangarhar Offensive

A series of US air strikes and drone strikes peppered Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan in July. According to the Washington Post, tribal elders and provincial officials said the US had launched an air campaign “in conjunction with Afghan security forces and intelligence agents” for the two weeks preceding July 9.

Nangarhar province, Afghanistan (Source: TUBS/Wikimedia)
Nangarhar province, Afghanistan (Source: TUBS/Wikimedia)

 

US drones and fighter jets had been deployed regularly in this time, officials told the paper. A spokesman for the provincial governor said: “These assaults have intensified in the past two days… Some 80, 90 insurgents have been killed in these airstrikes in the past two weeks.” The strikes “were conducted against individuals threatening US and coalition forces”, according to a Pentagon spokesman, raising questions about what role US soldiers were filling in ongoing Afghan army efforts to repel the Taliban in the province.

AFG058
July 4 2015
♦ 12 reported killed

Twelve alleged Afghan Taliban fighters were killed in the first of two reported US strikes. The attack hit in Ghanikhel district. “Twelve rebels were eliminated in Ghanikhel air assault,” according to Colonel Nouman Hafti, 201 Sailab Military Corps spokesman.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Ghanikhel district, Nangarhar province
References: KUNA, Press TV, Pajhwok

AFG059
July 4 2015
♦ 1 reported killed

One alleged Pakistan Taliban was killed in the second reported drone strike of the day. Colonel Nouman Hafti, 201 Sailab Military Corps spokesman, said: “One insurgent was killed in Chappa Dara.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chappa Dara district, Kunar province
References: KUNA, Press TV, Pajhwok

AFG060
July 4 2015
♦ Unknown killed or injured

This incident was one of 22 that occurred between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support in Kabul determined the allegation of civilian casualties had been disproved by “strike footage”. There were no details about the allegation, or how many people were supposedly killed or injured in the strike.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Dara i Pech district, Kunar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG061
July 5 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

A US strike reportedly targeted Taliban “hideouts” in Chaparhar district killing three people. The strike hit as clashes in Nangarhar between security forces and insurgents left 11 Taliban dead.

A statement from police headquarters said the strike hit in Kariz area and killed Qari Samiullah (aka Sangin), Shakur, son of Abdul Hamid, and Abdullah, son of Mullah Tasang.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Kariz area, Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, Khaama Press, TOLO News, Pajhwok

AFG062
July 6 2015
♦ 12 reported killed

The first of a pair of drone strikes killed 12 alleged Islmaic State fighters. The strike targeted a gathering of fighters at noon, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdul.

“The insurgents were targeted while they were gathering to plan attacks in the province,” he told reporters. A Nato official reportedly said the US carried out two “precision strikes… against individuals threatening the force.”

The strikes came as sporadic clashes between Islamic State and the Taliban were reported in Achin and Nazian districts. Afghan officials said 49 people were killed in the two attacks however an unnamed foreign official told Reuters the death toll was more likely to be around 25.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Anadolu Agency, AFP, Reuters

AFG063
July 6 2015
♦ 13-37 reported killed

A US strike reportedly killed between 13 and 37 people in a strike at 2pm, according to a provincial government spokesmen.

Nato official reportedly said the US carried out two “precision strikes…against individuals threatening the force.” Afghan officials said 49 people were killed in the two attacks – an unnamed foreign official told Reuters the death toll was more likely to be around 25.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Anadolu Agency, AFP, Reuters

AFG064
July 7 2015
♦ 11-49 reported killed
♦ 4 reported injured

A third consecutive US strike in Achin district reportedly killed three senior insurgent fighters who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

The strike reportedly either targeted a convoy of vehicles, according to Nangarhar provincial police’s spokesman, or a shura or council meeting, according to a senior Pakistani official. This uncertainty reflected the lack of clarity in reporting of drone and air strikes in Afghanistan, in large part because of the insecurity across the country.

The strike came amid efforts by the Afghan security forces, supported by the US, to push the Taliban out of parts of Nangarhar province, as well as fighting between Taliban insurgents and fighters who have declared their loyalty to the Islamic State group.

Shahidullah Shahid (aka Sheikh Maqbool), the former spokesman for the TTP, was killed, according to the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence agency. Shahid’s death was confirmed by Islamic State’s English-language magazine Dabiq. The strike also killed Gul Zaman, the Islamic State’s second-in-command and head of military operations was killed, according to the NDS. At least 11 other fighters including Zaman’s deputy, Jahanyar, were reportedly killed.

An NDS statement said: “Based on information of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Daesh (the Arabic acronym of IS) number two leader and Daesh war commander in Khorasan province, named Gul Zaman, along with his deputy named Jahanyar and five other Daesh members were killed following an airstrike in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province.”

Shahid was the TTP’s chief spokesman before being sacked for pledging his allegiance to Islamic State. He became a senior figure among the insurgent fighters in Afghanistan who had pledged for Islamic State. Zaman was the deputy leader of the Orakzai chapter of the Pakistan Taliban, or TTP. His leader in Orakzai was Hafiz Saeed Khan Orakzai, who became the Islamic State chief, and Zaman’s superior, in the group’s Afghan and Pakistan element.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, IANS, Associated Press, The News, TOLO News, Stars and Stripes, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, PTI, Daily Telegraph, Reuters, International Business Times

AFG065
July 7 2015
♦ 18 reported killed

The first of two US strikes reportedly killed 18 people in Achin district of Nangarhar. The strike was reported by Hazrat Hussain Mashriqwal, the Nangarhar provincial police spokesman. This was the fourth consecutive attack in Achin.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Khaama Press

AFG066
July 7 2015
♦ 25 reported killed

The second of two strikes on the day reportedly killed 25 of two possible US strikes reportedly killed 18 people in Achin district of Nangarhar. The strike was reported by Hazrat Hussain Mashriqwal, the Nangarhar provincial police spokesman.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Khaama Press

AFG067
July 7 2015
♦ 4 reported killed
♦ 2 people injured

A US drone or air strike left four alleged insurgents dead and four injured, according to Afghan officials. Lieutenant Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal, provincial police spokesman, said the strike killed “a dread Taliban commander” Qari Rafiq. An NDS source said the strike had killed a senior Islamic State fighter. The NDS spy agency reportedly coordinated and provided intelligence for the drone attack, according to the governor’s spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, KUNA

AFG068
July 8 2015
♦ 25-52 reported killed

A night strike killed at least 25 alleged Islamic State insurgents. The strike, described as a drone attack, targeted a gathering of alleged fighters, according to the NDS and Afghan army. Officials differed over how many people were killed. The NDS said 25 were killed however the Afghan Army’s eastern command said 52 died.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Tangi, Dih Bala district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press, World News Bulletin, Press TV, Anadolu Agency

AFG069
July 10 2015
♦ 30-31 reported killed

A US strike killed at least 30 people at a “gathering” in Nangarhar. They were all said to be members of the Taliban splinter group that had declared allegiance to Islamic State.

Their leader, Hafiz Saeed, 65, was said to be among the dead however this was later to be shown to be untrue. Saeed was again erroneously reported dead in January 2016 (AFG145).

Saeed, a former commander in the Pakistan Taliban, was killed at a “gathering”, according to the NDS. “The attack was conducted based on intelligence cooperation between the NDS and coalition forces,” the NDS statement added. Two “IS-affiliated commanders in Afghanistan” told AFP they were present when the strike hit and confirmed Saeed was killed.

However an IS spokesman told the BBC Saeed was alive and Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, a leading figure in the group, repeated this to Pajhwok. An audio recording subsequently emerged purportedly of Saeed. An unnamed US military official told NBC News: “Were there some leaders among those killed? Probably, but we have no confirmation.”

A US spokesman confirmed the US carried out a strike in Achin district of Nangarhar on July 10 but did not comment further.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, TOLO News, AFP, Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, NBC News, BBC, Pajhwok, Business Standard, Reuters, Khaama Press

AFG070
July 11 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

A US air strike killed Abu Khalil al Sudani – described as a “high-ranking al Qaeda operational commander”. The attack was reported on July 24. Al Sudani, who also went by Saifullah Khalil, was probably Sudanese – based on his nom-de-guerre. He was reportedly killed along with three other insurgent fighters. Pentagon said in a statement: “Al Sudani was one of three known violent extremists killed in the strike. The death of al Sudani will further degrade al Qaeda operations across the globe.” The US said al Sudani was a member of al Qaeda’s leadership council and in charge of its suicide operations.

An unnamed US official claimed “al Sudani was directly linked to external attack plotting against the United States and directed operations against the coalition, Afghan and Pakistani forces.” The official told the Associated Press: “The death of al Sudani will further degrade al Qaeda command-and-control operations across the globe.”

A Pakistan Taliban source and an Afghan Taliban source confirmed to AFP that al Sudani was dead, as well as his status as a senior commander. The Afghan Taliban source said he was in charge of finance: “He used to finance militant groups and provide them money whenever they needed.”

“He was buried in Paktika along with the others and some eight to 10 fighters attended the funeral prayer.”

The Pakistan Taliban source said al Sudani was pushed from his base in Pakistan’s North Waziristan when the Pakistani military launched its ground offensive there more than a year before this attack. The source said: “In North Waziristan al Sudani used to travel with two personal bodyguards and used to carry several suicide vests in his vehicle.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika province
References: Washington Post, Associated Press, AFP, Khaama Press, Reuters, Voice of America, Daily Telegraph

AFG071
July 12 2015
♦ 7-12 reported killed

At least seven people were reportedly killed in two US strikes. The attacks hit in two areas of Achin district, a frequent target for US air attacks. The Taliban shadow governor for Kot district was reported killed in the attack.

“Mullah Sarhadi and 11 of his fighters were killed in two separate drone strikes in Nazian district on Sunday,” the provincial police spokesman said.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Maidanak and Chehal Gazi areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, RTA, Anadolu Agency

AFG072
July 14 2015
♦ 28 reported killed

A US strike killed 28 insurgents according to Afghan officials. The strike hit in a “hot spot” for the Taliban and fighters who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State. The two groups had been fighting bloody battles in the weeks preceding this attack.

A spokesman for the provincial governor said the strike hit at night and targeted a gathering of Taliban. A spokesman for the provincial police told Anadolu Agency: “Hopefully a Taliban commander is also among those killed in Tuesday’s attack.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Press TV, Anadolu Agency, TOLO News

AFG073
July 16 2015

♦ 8-10 reported killed

At least eight insurgents were killed in a US air or drone strike in the first strike reported in 2015 in the central Maidan Wardak province.

The dead were reportedly members of the Haqqani network terrorist gang. One of the dead was a reportedly a commander – Shafiullah.

Abdul Wali Norzai, Maidan Wardak provincial police spokesman said: “Shafiullah is one of the Taliban commanders who was killed along with seven other followers.” He was reportedly involved in an attack that left 30 Afghan Local Police dead in Jalrez district in Wardak. The bodies of the dead officers were reportedly mutilated by the insurgents.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Tor Khail district, Maidan Wardak province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press, Press TV, Afghan Zariza, Anadolu Agency

AFG074
July 16 2015
♦ 6 reported killed

Six Taliban reportedly killed in the second strike of the day. It hit in the afternoon.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Press TV, Pajhwok

AFG075
July 20 2015

♦ 7-10 reported killed
♦ 5-6 reported injured
Reported friendly fire incident

The US military was investigating a botched strike by US Apache helicopter gunships that left at least seven Afghan National Army soldiers dead.

Two helicopters fired on an Afghan army outpost on a hill in Baraki Barak district at 7.30am local time (3am GMT). The attack was blamed on poor coordination between US and Afghan forces however military officers and local government officials questioned how the mistake could occur.

The helicopters were reportedly retaliating to gunfire from the ground. However the district governor said: “There was [an Afghan] flag on the checkpoint, and the soldiers were in uniform, but they bombarded the checkpoint anyway.” There were 15 soldiers manning the position at the time, three were unhurt according to General Abdul Razziq Sapai, commander of the army brigade in Logar. He said: “The incident happened at a time when there were no clashes in the area and foreign troops had not been asked for help.”

Provincial police chief Mohammad Daoud Ahmadi said: “The foreign troops made mistakes. They should have targeted point 55-68 [co-ordinates] but they targeted point 55-87 which was about one kilometer from the target. However it was not coordinated with us. The injured soldiers were taken to the nearby hospital.”

Taliban fighters on about 25 motorcycles reportedly attacked the outpost after the air assault but were repelled by Afghan Local Police after two hours of fighting. Mohammad Rahim Amin, the district chief of Baraki Barak said: “The outpost was completely destroyed; it was fired upon a lot.”

The US was “aware of an incident involving US forces in Logar Province this morning, 20 July,” according to a spokesman. It was being investigated, he added. Brigadier General Wilson Shoffner, deputy chief of staff for communications for US forces in Afghanistan, released a statement: “Alongside our Afghan partners, we will complete a joint investigation in a transparent, timely and thorough manner and will release further details regarding this incident as they become available.”

The attack provoked an angry response on the floor of the Afghan senate. Senator Nisar Haris said: “From one side the Taliban and Daesh are killing sons of this country who are working with the police and army, while on the other side; American troops are killing our sons. My findings and assessments reveal that there is no difference between the Taliban, Daesh and American troops” And Senator Farida Kochi said: “They have rolled up their sleeves to kill us. They kill our elders. I want to tell them that we will oust the US as we did with the then USSR.”

Type of operation: US helicopter strike
Location: Cheltan area, Baraki Barak district, Logar province
References: Khaama Press, Associated Press, CNN, The Guardian, BBC, AFP, Pajhwok, TOLO News, Reuters, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, US Army statement, TOLO News, Washington Post,

Afghan Air Force Strike
July 23 2015
♦ 8 reported killed
♦ Possible civilian casualties reported

A rare strike by the Afghan Air Force reportedly killed eight or nine Afghan Taliban fighters, local media reported.

Two foreign militants were reportedly killed as well at least one senior Taliban figure – Qari Salahuddin, a “shadow governor”. The strike reportedly hit a gathering of insurgents.

An anonymous Taliban source denied Salahuddin was killed and said civilians were among the dead though did not specify how many.

The Afghan Air Force does have a few strike-capable as well as unarmed transport aircraft. However the fledgling service lacks the capacity and training to operate across the entire country.

Type of attack: Afghan air attack
Location: Almar district, Faryab province
References: Pajhwok, Twitter

AFG076
July 26 2015

♦ 5-6 reported killed

Five or six people were killed in a US attack that targeted a vehicle near the border with Pakistan.

The provincial police spokesman said: “The drone targeted a vehicle in the Chaknor area in Lalpura district, leaving five anti-government gunmen dead.” Two of the dead were identified as Zahoor and Ishaq, reportedly residents of Mohmand tribal agency in Pakistan.

The early morning strike hit in Lalpur, Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan’s Khyber tribal agency. The Pakistan military is carrying out an ongoing military operation targeting armed groups in Khyber Agency. Several reports have said the Pakistan military operations in Khyber and North Waziristan have pushed terrorists out of Pakistan into Afghanistan. Some or all the dead were reportedly Pakistanis, from Mohmand agency which is to the north of Khyber.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chaknawr, Lalpur district, Nangarhar province
References: Kashmir Images, Dawn, The Nation, The News, Express Tribune, Pajhwok, TOLO News

AFG077
July 29 2015

♦ 12-20 reported killed

Between 12 and 20 alleged Islamic State fighters were killed in two US drone or air strikes in Nangarhar. The strikes reportedly hit while the men were moving from one district to another. A US official said a “kinetic strike” was carried out against “individuals threatening the force”.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Harun Baba area, Haska Mina district and Pachiragam district, Nangarhar province
References: Baaghi TV, Associated Press, Khaama Press, TOLO News, Pajhwok, Press TV


August 2015

AFG078
August 2 2015

♦ 4 reported killed

A US air strike killed four alleged Taliban insurgents including a senior commander in Barakai Barak district.

-Mullah Habib Rahman was the head of the Taliban’s “military commission” in the district. He was killed with three others in a strike at 8pm local time (4.30pm GMT). The disctrict governor, Mohammad Rahim Amin, said the “security situation will improve in the area after the death of Maulvi Habibullah”.

A local resident, Hamidullah, confirmed the strike hit, telling Pajhwok: “We came to know in the morning that Maulvi Habibullah and other militants had been killed in the strike.”

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Cholzi area, Barkai Barak district, Logar province
References: Daily Pakistan, The Nation, KUNA, Pajhwok, Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
August 2 2015
♦ More than 2 reported killed
♦ 2 civilians reported killed, both children
♦ 6 civilians injured

An Afghan helicopter fired on a group of “anti-government elements” gathered in a bazaar, the UN reported. An unspecified number of fighters were killed and injured however the attack also destroyed two fuel shops, killing two boys and injuring six civilian men.

Type of operation: AAF air strike
Location: Shakh bazaar, Qaysar district, Faryab province
References: United Nations

AFG079
August 4 2015
♦ 56-66 reported killed

Seven US strikes across two provinces on August 4 left at least 56 dead, according to the spokesman for Nangarhar provincial governor.

It has not been possible to disaggregate the death tolls and locations for each individual strike.

Multiple strikes reported killed 46 alleged Taliban militants in the Haska Mina and Sherzad districts of the Nangarhar. A local Taliban commander was killed in the attack, the governor’s spokesman said.

A further 20 alleged Islamic State fighters were reportedly killed in the Haska Mina and Deh Bala districts. The US military in Kabul told the Associated Press that “kinetic strikes” against “individuals threatening force” had taken place on 5 August in Nangarhar and nearby Paktika provinces.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Sherzad, Haska Mina and Deh Bala districts of Nangarhar province and Paktika province
References: Anadolu, Asssociated Press, Pajhwok, Khaama Press, TOLO News

AFG080
August 8 2015

♦ 10 reported killed

A US air or drone strike killed 10 alleged insurgents, according to the Nangarhar provincial police and an NDS statement.

The attack, that reportedly hit around noon, came as ANSF clashed with Taliban insurgents in several districts across Nangahar. The provincial police chief’s spokesman said at least 15 Taliban were killed. There was no word on ANSF casualties and government sources said no civilians were harmed. Four foreign fighters were reportedly among the dead.

The attack hit the same day the Taliban hanged a 27-year old mother of three in Badakhshan – claiming she committed adultery. The insurgents also beheaded to local policemen and a civilian in the same province. In norhtern Kunduz a Taliban suicide bomber killed at least 22 people at a meeting. The attack either targeted “members of illegal armed groups” that been fighting with both ANSF and insurgents. Or it targeted Afghan Local Police – described as “pro-government militia forces“.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Gorgori area, Haska Mina district, Nangahar province
References: Geo, Associated Press, Anadolu Agency, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, TOLO News

AFG081
August 9 2015
♦ 2-6 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

A US drone or air strike left at least two dead, according to Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, spokesman for the provincial police office. According to Afghan journalist Tariq Majidi, the NDS said the strike killed six – all allegedly Islamic State fighters.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Nazian district, Nangahar province
References: Anadolu Agency, Twitter

AFG082
August 10 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

According to the local police chief, General Abdul Habib Saeedkhil, a US drone killed three alleged Taliban fighters when it targeted their “hideout” in Kunar province.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Shonkorok Valley, Shegal district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, Afghan Islamic Press (£)

AFG082C
August 12 2015
♦ 5 reported killed

Five alleged Haqqani Network fighters were reportedly killed by a US drone strike in Paktika province, according to the governor’s spokesman. Pajhwok reported “the dead bodies of insurgents were handed over to their families.”

Type of operation: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Nakah district, Nangarhar
References: Pajhwok

AFG083
August 17 2015
♦ 4-5 reported killed

Between four and five people were reportedly killed in a US drone or air strike in the eastern province of Waidak.

A “dreaded commander” was reportedly among the dead – the provincial governor said: “Early reports show a US drone has targeted the militants in [Day Mirdad] district, killing a prominent commander. But we don’t have any information about identity of the remaining militants.” Day Mirdad is in the south of the province.

Nato spokesman Brian Tribus said a US drone strike had been used against against “individuals threatening the force” in the centre-east Wardak province. It is not clear if this related to this strike or the attack detailed below (AFG084).

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Day Mirdad district, Wardak province
References: Reuters, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, Press TV,

AFG084
August 17 2015
♦ 2-3 reported killed

Two or three people were reportedly killed by a US air or drone strike. The attack hit in the south of Wardak province, in Chak district. A commander was reportedly among the dead.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Chak district, Wardak province
References: Reuters, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, Press TV

Afghan Air Force Strike
August 24 2015

♦ 4 reported killed

The leader and four senior commanders of the Jundullah armed group were reportedly killed in an Afghan air strike.

The attack reportedly killed Qari Ghulaam Hazrat (aka Abu Hazifa) and his deputy, Amar. Three other commanders also died.

The Afghan intelligence agency – the NDS – reported the attack in a statement, saying it had coordinated the airstrike. The Afghan Air Force has taken delivery of strike capable helicopters from the US however it reportedly lacks trained operators.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Chara Dara district, Kunduz province
References: TOLO News, Twitter, Afghan Analysts Network

Battle for Musa Qala

The districts of Afghanistan's Helmand province (Credit: RarelibraThe districts of Afghanistan’s Helmand province (Credit: Rarelibra)

The role of US airpower in a week long battle between Afghan security forces and the Taliban over a district of the southern province of Helmand suggests that Washington is still fighting an insurgency rather than carrying out a counterterrorism campaign, eight months after combat operations were declared over.

The US carried out 18 air strikes in the Musa Qala district over the course of seven days from August 23 to August 30, US officials said. The strikes were at first in support of Afghan security forces attempts to stem the advancing tide of Taliban fighters. However, the beleagured security forces struggled with a lack of food and ammunition, according to a report in local media. Without relief the garison could not stop the insurgents driving the district governor Mohammad Sharif from the capital on August 27. The US continued striking from the air as Kabul’s forces tried to retake the town. The Taliban was eventually forced out on August 30.

The US air strikes were explicitely in support of the security forces, according to US and Afghan officials. An Afghan ministry of defence spokesman said the US was striking “whenever we call”. And a US spokesman in Kabul said the US carried out strikes against “individuals threatening coalition and Afghan forces.” Western diplomats told the New York Times that the US was stretching the boundaries of its counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan.

Western soldiers were not involved in fighting on the ground, according to The Times. However the US military spokesman in Kabul, Colonel Brian Tribus, said: “It is important to note whenever the U.S. conducts airstrikes, a US JTAC [Joint Terminal Attack Controler] must be on the ground directing the strike to ensure they are conducted within our rules of engagement.”

According to the New York Times, these JTACs were airmen from the US Air Force Special Tactics Squadron. It reported 90 soldiers from this special operations unit were rushed to Helmand’s Camp Atonik military headquarters (formerly known as Camp Bastion) as Musa Qala fell. Two airmen from this unit were reportedly killed in a friendly fire incident on August 26 as “they were returning from a late night operation to [Atonik]”.

Location: Musa Qala, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press, CNN, DPA, AFP, The Times, New York Times, BBC, Reuters, New York Times, NBC News, Washington Post, New Yorrk Times, US DoD, AFP, The Guardian, New York Times, New York Times

AFG085
August 23 2015
♦ 40 reported killed

Two or three US air strikes reportedly killed 40 Taliban insurgents in the Musa Qala district of the southern Helmand province.

The US attacks – the first of 18 in total over the course of the following seven days – were confirmed by an Afghan ministry of defence spokesman and a US military spokesman.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Musa Qala district, Helmand province
References: Reuters, BBC, AFP

AFG086
August 26 2015
♦ 4 reported killed
♦ 0-3 civilians reported killed

Four senior Taliban commanders were reportedly killed in a US attack in Nangarhar, according to the provincil police spokesman.

The dead were identified as Zarwali, Sifatullah, Ghondi and Zargai. They were described as commanders from the Taliban’s Jaipur group.

Three civilians may also have been killed in this attack. Press TV reported three members of the same family were killed while gathering stones ina a strike on August 26 in Nangarhar province. It did not say where in the province the strike hit. It vaguelly cited the Taliban as saying the dead were not members of the armed group.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Kotikhil area, Shirzad district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Press TV

AFG087
August 27 2015
♦ Unknown killed

Two US air strikes reportedly killed an unreported number of Taliban insurgents in the Musa Qala district of the southern Helmand province, according to Reuters

The US attacks – the fourth and fifth of 18 in total over the course of the following seven days – were confirmed by a US military spokesman.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Musa Qala district, Helmand province
References: Reuters, AFP

AFG088
August 30 2015
♦ Unknown killed

The US and Afghan effort to oust the Taliban from Musa Qala in Helmand province concluded on August 30 when Afghan forces retook the area. They did so after the US carried out 13 more air strikes, according to US sources. These are on top of the five reported on August 23 and August 27.

This “intense bombardment by American warplanes,” according to a witness, was the US providing the Afghan security forces with air support, striking “whenever we call” according to the Afghan ministry of defence spokesman.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Musa Qala district, Helmand province
References: AFP, Associated Press, New York Times, NBC News

AFG089
August 31 2015
♦ At least 2 killed
♦ 2 civilians killed

This attack was one of 22 that hit between January 1 and August 31, and for which the US had received allegations of civilian casualties. US forces in Afghanistan supplied the list of allegations to the Bureau by email in September.

The US received allegations that two civilians were killed in this attack. A preliminary investigation by Resolute Support “accepted” these allegations, acknowleding two civilians were killed. The US military launched a “national investigation” into the incident however the results have yet to be made public. It is not clear who the civilians were and if any other people were killed in this attack.

Type of operation: US air or drone strike
Location: Musa Qala district, Helmand province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

September 2015

AFG090
September 1 2015

♦ Unknown casualties

US military official Colonel Brian Tribus said the US Air Force had carried out 24 air strikes in Musa Qala since August 22 – six strikes on top of the 18 reported on August 30.

The US used significant ordinance on Musa Qala, the district’s capital, according to officials and witnesses. The US used six 2,000-pound bombs, according to General Philip Breedlove, Nato supreme allied commander in Europe. A member of parliament for Helmand described one particularly large bomb to the New York Times: “It was a big building with 30 rooms, which is completely vanished from the earth, and buried everyone in it.” A tribal elder told German news agency DPA: “The district has been bombed for the past two weeks, resulting in 150 dead and more than 200 injured.”

While the US and Afghan forces made some gains after Musa Qala fell, it appears much of the district was still under Taliban control. “Musa Qala, Nawzad and Baghran districts are now under Taliban (control),” Helmand provincial council member Majid Akhundzada said. A Nato official told DPA that Kabul will find it difficult to protect the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

“The air strikes were conducted under US authorities,” Tribus told Air Force Times. “The Taliban have invested a significant amount of fighters in their effort to establish a foothold in northern Helmand and US air strikes helped provide time for the Afghan security forces to organize and deploy sufficient combat power to secure the area.”

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Musa Qala district, Helmand province
References: New York Times, Air Force Times, DPA

AFG090C
September 3 2015

♦ 32 reported killed

Press TV reported 32 people were killed in a US drone strike in Paktia province.

Type of attack: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Ahmadabad district, Paktia province
References: Press TV

AFG091
September 6 2015

♦ 11-31 reported killed
♦ 4 people reported injured
Reported friendly fire incident

At least 11 Afghan counter-narcotics officials were killed in an apparent friendly fire incident. The US announced it was investigating the incident.

The deputy interior minister for counter-narcotics, a Ministry of Interior spokesman, the Helmand governor’s spokesmen, the provincial police chief, a member of the provincial council, and unnamed Afghan officials reported the strike. They said it killed Afghan police and Ministry of Interior officials involved in a counter-narcotics operation. A Helmand councillor said NDS personnel were also killed in the attack.

“Eleven counter-narcotics police were killed and four others were wounded in an air strike carried out by international forces in Garmsir district of Helmand province,” deputy interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP. “Seems it was an attack without coordination,” Danish said, according to the Washington Post.

US officials at first denied the incident took place. Colonel Brian Tribus said the US had not carried out a strike in Helmand that day. He did say the US carried out a strike in Kandahar (see AFG074 below). However, on September 8 Brigadier General William Shoffner said new information had come to light and the US would investigate the attack. “We will complete the investigation in close coordination with our Afghan partners and in a transparent, timely and thorough manner,” he said.

An Afghan official said the strike came during an Afghan operation to arrest drug smugglers. The men were reportedly undercover, dressed as Taliban. Another security official in the district said 35 counter-narcotics personnel were taking part in the operation and claimed 31 were killed in the attack.

The strike reportedly hit in Garamsir, Reg or Lashkar Gar districts. This disparity in reports could be the result of confusion about where the counter-narcotics opertation was meant to be taking place. As Danish said: “According to information we have, a pre-planned operation against cultivated poppy fields was underway. However the location and the timing of the operation was changed and they were mistakenly targeted by an air raid of foreign forces which led to casualties.”

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Garamser district, Helmand province
References: Associated Press, AFP, Al Jazeera, TOLO News, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times, WSJ, TOLO News, Pajhwok, Afghan Islamic Press, Los Angeles Times, Guardian

AFG092
September 6 2015
♦ Unknown casualties

Colonel Brian Tribus, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said: “US forces conducted kinetic strikes in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province on September 6 to eliminate threats to the force. There were no Afghan Security Forces injured in the US strike in Maiwand, Kandahar on 6 September.”

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Maiwand district, Kandahar province
References: Associated Press, Pajhwok, Washington Post

U.S. Air Force Capt. Matt Buchholtz looks out the window of his C-130J Super Hercules aircraft while flying a medical evacuation mission over Afghanistan, Sept. 4, 2015. Buchholtz is a pilot assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.
US Air Force transport plane flying a medical evactuation mission over Afghanistan (Photo: US Air Force/Senior Airman Cierra Presentado)

 

AFG093
September 8 2015

♦ 2 reported killed

US drones reportedly killed two Taliban commanders in the eastern province of Kunar, the provincial police chief reported.

“The American’s unmanned plane targeted the hideout of Zarqawi in Sawki Dara locality on early Tuesday morning. Reportedly, he died on the spot,” provincial police chief General Abdul Habib Saedkhil said. Kunar governor’s spokesman, Muslim Abdul Ghani also reported the strike and death toll.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sawki Dara area, Ghazi Abad district, Kunar province
References: Xinhua, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, Associated Press

AFG094
September 10 2015

♦ 5-15 reported killed

A US strike killed at least five people in a district on the Afghan-Pakistan border, in the same area as ground operations by the Afghan security forces.

US Army colonel Brian Tribus, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, confirmed the strike took place, telling the Bureau: “US forces conducted an airstrike in Gomal District, Paktika Province, [on] September 10, to eliminate threats to the force.”

Tribus gave no details of casualty figures however a local non-governmental source told the Bureau five people were killed when the attack destroyed two vehicles. Reuters reported 15 people were kiled in the attack.

The discrepancy in death tolls could be explained by sources conflating the casualties from ground operations by Afghan security forces in Gomal district on September 10. A Pakistani security source told Reutes: “Fifteen dead bodies of killed militants will be shifted soon to their native areas in Dera Ismail Khan.” Dera Ismail Khan is a region of the Khyber Paktunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan.

General Ali Mast Momand, Paktika police chief, told the Bureau Afghan forces “killed many Taliban and destroyed their ammunition depot.” The ground operation only involved Afghan forces and the US carried out a precision strike. A Taliban commmander, Musa Jan, was killed in the ground operation, he said.

Type of attack: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Reuters, Pajhwok, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
September 11 2015
♦ 30 reported killed

At least 30 alleged Taliban fighters were reportedly killed in an AAF strike in the nothern province of Badakhshan.

The attacks pushed the Taliban out of Raghistan bazar in Raghistan district, the provincial police chief told TOLO News. The strikes came after local officials said the district had fallen to the Taliban at about 3am local time. The insurgents had reportedly advanced as far as 1km from the district governor’s office. Three policemen were killed and three more injured in the clashes.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Rahistan district, Badakhsan province
References: TOLO News, TOLO News

AFG095
September 13 2015

♦ 5 reported killed

Four or five alleged Afghan Taliban were reportedly killed in a US drone or airstrike in south-eastern Afghanistan.

Provincial police spokesman Colonel Hazrat Hussein Mashriqiwal said the strike hit overnight, targeting Taliban fighters as they moved out of Lal Pur district. He said a local Taliban commander was among the dead. The men were reportedly travelling in a police pick-up truck.

The Taliban said four Afghan Taliban fighters were killed by drones, Reuters reported.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Marsangi area, Lal Pur district, Nangarhar province
References: Dawn, Anadolu Agency, Reuters, Khaama Press, Pajhwok

September 14 2015
♦ 8 reported killed

A senior al Qaeda commander was reportedly killed in an operation by the National Directorate of Security – Afghanistn’s intelligence agency.

The NDS said it carried out the operation with Nato forces – most likely US troops. The attack killed eight alleged al Qaeda operatives. Five “hideouts” were also destroyed, Khaam Press reported.

Type of attack: Joint Afghan-US ground operation
Location: Mokhtar Mina area, Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press

AFG096
September 17 2015
♦ 5 reported killed

Five fighters from the so-called Islamic State were reportedly killed by a US drone or air strike.

Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal provincial police chief confirmed the evening strike to TOLO News. The attack hit a camp of fighters, unnamed Taliban fighters and Pakistani security officials told Reuters. The Taliban fighters said this was the third strike in the area in 2015 aimed at Islamic State fighters.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Melawe area, Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Reuters, Khaama Press

AFG096C
September 21 2015
♦ 7 reported killed
♦ 7 reported injured

A possible drone strike reportedly killed seven people in the western province of Herat, which borders Iran and Turkmenistan.

Type of attack: Possible US air or drone strike
Location: Herat province
References: Xinhua

The Battle for Kunduz
September 27 – October 13 2015

A map of Afghanistan with Kunduz highlighted.

The Afghan Taliban swept into Kunduz city in the small hours of September 27, brushing aside the city’s defences and shaking the whole country.

The brazen assault left one of Afghanistan’s most important city’s in the hands of insurgents. It was the first city to fall to the Taliban since 2001 and underlined both how potent the insurgency had become and the degree to which the Afghan National Security Forces were struggling to stem the tide.

Afghan police and soldiers were overwhelmed by a well planned, carefully coordinated assault on the city. Chaos enveloped the city’s defences and checkpoints fell to the Taliban forces. Afghan civilian officials, police and army soldiers and officers fell back from the city to the airport where they remained hemmed in until reinforcements arrived many days later.

The US carried out the first of several airstrikes in Kunduz in support of bleagured Afghan forces. It hit on September 29, two days after the city fell. US drones and jets were reportedly flying surveillance missions over the city from September 28.

US, UK and German special forces reportedly became embroiled in the fighting. The advisers were near the city, according to reports, and came to the aid of the Afghan forces hold-up at the airport. London and Berlin denied their troops were involved. However US officials did admit US forces had come under attack in Kunduz and had retaliated.

The US soldiers were instrumental in calling in US airstrikes, including the fateful October 3 strike (AFG0105) that hit a hospital. The conduct of these soldiers, and the basis they made the decision to call in the attack, reportedly formed a large part of the subsequent Pentagon investigations into the catastrophic air strike.

On September 29 the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said its traumer centre in Kunduz was working round the clock to treat people wounded by ongoing street fighting. “Our surgeons have been working non-stop to treat patients with gunshot wounds. We have added 18 extra beds to bring the total bed capacity to 110 in order to cope with the unprecedented level of admissions,” said Guilhem Molinie, MSF’s country representative.

The hopstial wards were full with 130 pateints spread about the facitily. The hosptial It was the only functioning hospital by September, according to Molinie: “With the government provincial hospital not currently functioning, MSF’s hospital is now the only place in Kunduz where people in need of urgent trauma care can receive it.”

There were reports of widespread human rights abuses by the Taliban. Mass murder, gang rapes and house-to-house searches by Taliban death squads are just some of the harrowing civilian testimonies emerging from Kunduz, Amnesty International said on October 1.

“The reports of extrajudicial executions, including of healthcare workers, abductions, denial of medical care and restrictions on movement out of the city are particularly disturbing,” UNAMA chief Nicholas Haysom said.

Location: Kunduz City, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post, Air Force Times, TOLO News, TOLO News, Pajhwok, The Guardian, Amnesty International, Voice of America, Washington Post, Daily Telegraph, AFP, Al Jazeera, TOLO News, Washington Post, Khaama Press, US Embassy, MSF, TOLO News, Al Jazeera, TOLO News, TOLO News, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Post, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, TOLO News, Associated Press, MSF, TOLO News, MSF, Khaama Press, MSF, Washington Post, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Afghan Analysts Network

AFG097
September 29 2015

♦ Unknown reported killed

The first of numerous US air strikes on the city of Kunduz hit at about 9am local time (4.30am GMT). The number of casualties were unknown.

A US spokesman told Reuters: “US forces conducted an airstrike in Kunduz today to eliminate a threat to coalition and Afghan forces operating in the vicinity of Kunduz.” The spokesman told the Air Force Times the attack was carried out “to eliminate a threat to coalition forces in the area who are advising and assisting Afghan forces operating in Kunduz.”

The attack was reportedly carried out by an F-16 strike fighter. It reportedly hit a tank, looted by Taliban insurgents, as it advanced on the airport where Afghan, US and European soldiers were based.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Vicinity of Kunduz airport Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Pajhwok, Air Force Times, Khaama Press, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, AFP

AFG097C
September 29 2015
♦ 16 reported killed

An apparent air strike at 9.00pm local time (4.30pm GMT) reportedly killed 16 people, including Maulawi Salama – the Taliban’s shadow governor in Kunduz. However the Taliban published an audio interview with Salama shortly after the NDS declared him dead, in which he denies reports of his demise. The strike also reportedly killed a Pakistani commander from the Lashkar e Taiba group called Haris.

Type of attack: Possible US air attack
Location: Outskirts of Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Khaama Press, Long War Journal

AFG098
September 29 2015
♦ Unknown reported killed

A second US air strike of the day hit near the airport where Afghan troops and civilians, and US and allied soldiers were based. A US spokesman said: “US forces conducted an airstrike in the vicinity of the Kunduz airport at approximately 11.30pm local time [7pm GMT], September 29, against individuals threatening the force.”

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Vicinity of Kunduz airport, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Air Force Times, Associated Press, Pajhwok, Khaama Press, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal, AFP

AFG099
September 30 2015

♦ “Dozens” reported killed

A third US air strike hit Kunduz city, this one just after midnight. Foreign soldiers were near the scene of the strike and reportedly called it in.

A US Army spokesman told Reuters: “Coalition special forces advisers, while advising and assisting elements of the Afghan Security Forces, encountered an insurgent threat in the vicinity of the Kunduz airport at approximately 1am, September 30 [8.30pm GMT on September 29],” Brian Tribus told Reuters. “US forces conducted an airstrike to eliminate the threat in Kunduz.” Tribus said the statement meant the special forces had engaged in combat.

Again, the number of casualties was unknown though a former local MP, Moeen Marastial, said one of the two overnight strikes – AFG081 or AFG082 – hit a warehouse and killed dozens or Taliban fighters and commanders. It appears the warehouse attack could have helped repulse advancing insurgents. A resident of the area near the airport told the Washington Post: “Last night, the fighting was intense… The Taliban succeeded in entering the airport from two directions, but a drone strike reversed the game.” However the Washington Post subsequently reported a strike on a warehouse on October 2, confusing matters further.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Kunduz airport, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: AFP, Al Jazeera, Khaama Press, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reuters

AFG100
September 30 2015
♦ Unknown killed

A fourth US strike on the area around Kunduz airport hit at 5pm local time (12.30pm GMT). It was “conducted to eliminate threats to coalition and Afghan forces” according to a US statement.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Kunduz airport, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post, Khaama Press, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal

AFG101
September 30 2015
♦ Unknown killed

Another US strike hit Kunduz airport hit at 5pm local time (12.30pm GMT). It was “conducted to eliminate threats to coalition and Afghan forces” according to a US statement.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Kunduz airport, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post, Khaama Press, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal

AFG102
September 30 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

Afghan forces advanced into the city of Kunduz from their base at the airport in the night of September 30. And the US provided them with some air support.

The Washington Post reported that three charred corpses were found next to a Humvee infantry vehicle, stolen by the Taliban “which had apparently been targeted in an airstrike”. The three have been added to the Bureau’s tally and are included in this strike entry. However they could have been killed in one of the above recorded strikes or an attack that is not yet listed in this timeline.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Vicinity of Kunduz airport, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal

Afghan Air Force strike
September 30 2015
♦ 6-7 civilians reported killed, all children

An Afghan helicopter fired at Taliban fighters but hit a cart carrying six or seven children, according to an IDP interviewed by the United Nations. The children were killed and “their bodies were scattered on the street” the IDP said, adding: “Perhaps the rest of the family members had already moved out of the area. Afghan security forces collected the dead bodies and took them to MSF hospital.”

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: United Nations

Afghan Air Force strike
September 30 2015
♦ 2 reported killed, both civilians – one a child
♦ 4 others injured

An ANA helicopter targeted a group of Taliban traveling in a vehicle and hit a civilian house. The attack killed a woman and child. It injured four other civilians, including a woman and two children, according to the UN.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Zakhil area, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: United Nations


October 2015

Afghan Air Force Strike
October 2 2015

♦ 20-41 reported killed

An Afghan Air Force strike left at least 20 people dead when helicopters targeted Badakhshan province’s shadow Taliban governor, Qari Fasihudin, and some of his fighters. The attack reportedly hit at around 6.50pm local time (2.20pm GMT).

“The Afghan Air Force is also supporting the ground forces in the operations” in Baharak and Wardoj districts in Badakhshan province, the spokesman for the provincial police chief Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Baharak and Wardoj districts, Badakhshan province
References: TOLO News, TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG103
October 2 2015
♦ 0 reported killed

A US air strike destroyed an empty warehouse in a densley populated part of Kunduz city, US and Afghan officials, and local residents told the Washington Post.

The attack was requested by Afghan special forces forces according to Lieutentant Colonel Abdullah Guard, commander of the Afghan police special forces in Kunduz. The warehouse was reportedly used by a tea and soft drink distrbution company, Alokozay.

“There were huge numbers of Taliban inside the Alokozay warehouse, huge numbers of Taliban inside the MSF hospital, and huge numbers of Taliban inside the foreign office,” Guard said – referring to the reported targets of the subsequent two strikes. “We gave all this information to our foreign allies. We were begging them to launch the airstrikes.”

Witnesses including a security guard said Taliban had been present at the warehouse compound but had gone before the strike hit. “When the airplane came, it couldn’t distinguish where the Taliban were located,” said Abdul Wali, 30, the guard.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post

AFG104
October 2 2015
♦ 0 reported killed

A second US air strike of the day destroyed a mansion and another house in another densley populated part of Kunduz city according to the Washington Post.

There were no reported casualties though the buildings were “pulverised” the newspaper reported. The strike was requested of the US by Afghan special forces fighting Taliban insurgents in the city. The mansion was being used as an office to process foreign visas. The attack destroyed a neighbouring four-story house and reportedly damaged several other nearby buildings.

“It was a very big mistake,” said Haji Fazhul Rahman, a businessman who owned the destroyed next door house. He said the Taliban had looted the mansion but had left the day before the US airstrike. He had fled the house hours before the attack. The strike may have flattened their home but the attacks had stopped the Taliban reaching the city’s airport, his son Elham Rahmani said. If they had “the whole province would have fallen to them” he continued, displaying remarkable sangfroid.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post

AFG105
October 3 2015

♦ At least 42 reported killed, all civilians, including three children
♦ More than 27 reported injured

A US aircraft opened fire on a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) killing at least 42 civilians – 19 of them on the spot.

An AC-130 gunship repeatedly fired on the specialist trauma centre in Kunduz City before dawn on October 3rd. Patients burnt alive in their beds and staff also died on the wards while people fleeing the burning building were shot at from the air.

MSF initially reported 30 had been killed however this was later increased to 42, after painstaking work examining remains from inside the hospital.

US and Afghan accounts of what happened shifted continuously in the aftermath of the attack, which MSF described as a “war crime”. The US’s final version of events was announced on November 25 following an internal military inquiry. It identified a series of human and technical errors that had led to the “avoidable incident”. The US acknowledged that MSF did “everything right” by informing them of the coordinates of the hospital but that these had not made their way to the aircraft crew.

One substantial discrepancy remained between the US and MSF accounts. The US says that the attack lasted for half an hour whereas MSF say that it was an hour long. Some analysts have also raised direct questions about the coherence of the latest narrative being put forward by the US. It rests on claims that the targeting system on the AC-130 was faulty because the flight path was changed after the crew believed they were themselves being targeted by a missile. The crew therefore had to rely – it is claimed – on a visual description of their target provided by Afghan forces. They identified the hospital as fitting this description.

Kunduz, Afghanistan, October 14, 2015 The aftermath of the U.S. airstrike on the Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz that took place on October 3 that killed 22 people. The main hospital building, housing the emergency room, blood bank, intensive care unit, and out patient department, was heavily bombed in near continuous barrage for more than one hour, according to witnesses. Today MSF announced they had requested that the the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission be activated to investigate the bombing.
The aftermath of the strike on MSF’s hospital (Photo Victor J/MSF)

 

MSF are not satisfied with this account or any other provided by the US, Nato or Afghanistan; they are still demanding an independent inquiry. An MSF investigation noted that two high ranking Taliban fighters were being treated in the hospital at the time of the attack. And that, the day before the attack, Australian and French officials warned that foreign staff were at risk of an imminent kidnapping.

Christopher Stokes, MSF Director General responded to the US report, saying: “The U.S. version of events presented today leaves MSF with more questions than answers. It is shocking that an attack can be carried out when U.S. forces have neither eyes on a target nor access to a no-strike list, and have malfunctioning communications systems.”

“It appears that 30 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people are denied life-saving care in Kunduz simply because the MSF hospital was the closest large building to an open field and ‘roughly matched’ a description of an intended target… Investigations of this incident cannot be left solely to parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Human Rights Watch have called for a criminal inquiry to be actioned by the US. Sarah Margon, the Washington director, said: “The attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz involved possible war crimes. The ongoing US inquiry will not be credible unless it considers criminal liability and is protected from improper command influence.”

The strike came in the wake of Taliban forces taking control of the city of Kunduz. The strike took place in the early hours of the morning. In the aftermath, a US spokesman said: “US forces conducted an airstrike in Kunduz city at 2.15am… against individuals threatening the force. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”

All times are local time in Afghanistan (GMT+4:30)

All times are local time in Afghanistan (GMT+4:30) – source: MSF

The following day the Pentagon said “the airstrike was targeting insurgents [in the vicinity of the hospital] who were directly firing upon US service members advising and assisting Afghan security forces.”

On October 5th, General Campbell, commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan admitted that US service members were not under direct fire. He said: “We have now learned that on 3 October, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from US air forces.”

And on October 6, Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee: “On Saturday morning, our forces provided close air support to Afghan forces at their request. To be clear, the decision to provide aerial flyers was a US decision made within the US chain of command.”

“A hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility.”

Afghan officials made repeated claims that “terrorists” were using the hospital ground to target Afghan soldiers and civilians. One of these involved the entirely unsubstantiated allegation that a Taliban flag on the side of the building.

MSF consistently denied any fighters were using the compound. Guns were banned from the hospital; fighters receiving treatment and their associates had to deposit their guns outside the entrance.

They say that this rule was fully implemented in the days leading up to the strike. Abdul Mobin, 19, a local shop owner, told Washington Post he had seen Taliban fighters leave their guns at the entrance to the hospital before entering in the days prior to the attack. “They were not using the hospital as a base,” he said.

The identities of the dead were not immediately reported however a few names emerged in the aftermath of the strike. Zabihullah Pashtoonyar, a radio journalist and security guard at the hospital, and Shafiq were reportedly killed in the strike. So too was Dr Satar who died a few paces behind a young registrar who was injured in the back by shrapnel as the bombardment began. “[Satar] was not able to stand up, not able to do anything. He said: ‘I’m dying, please don’t leave me alone,'” his colleague recounted to the Guardian. Another colleague, Dr Amin, lost a leg in the strike. Despite operating for two hours, the MSF surgeons could not save him. He did of blood loss, witnesses said.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: MSF hospital, Kunduz City, Kunduz province
References: Khaama Press, CNN, Associated Press, White House, The Pentagon, BBC, MSF, BBC, Associated Press, Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, Reuters, Khaama Press, UN, BBC, Reuters, NBC, MSF, MSF, Reuters, AFP, TOLO News, NBC Nightly News, New York Times, Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Post, The Guardian, US DoD, Medecins Sans Frontieres (PDF), Telegraph, US Defence Department, CNN, US Defence Department, MSF, Hindustan Times, Washington Post, LA Times, The Globe and Mail, MSF, Common Dreams, Human Rights Watch, ABC, US Defence Department, VICE News, Reuters, NBC, CBS, Financial Times, Washington Post

AFG106
October 5 2015

♦ Unknown killed

Five further US air strikes were carried out between September 29 and October 5, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Wall Street Journal

Army Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, conducts a press briefing at the Pentagon, Oct. 5, 2015. DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
General Campbell answers questions about the MSF hospital bombing at an October 5 Pentagon press briefing (Photo: DoD/Sgt Adrian Cadiz)

 

Afghan Air Force strike
October 7 2015

♦ 1 civilian reported killed, a child
♦ 1 child reported injured

An Afghan National Army helicopter airstrike impacted a civilian house, killing a girl and injuring another.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Qaraya e Yateem village, Chahar Darah district, Kunduz province
References: United Nations

AFG107
October 11 2015

♦ 100-200 reported killed
♦ Around 50 reported injured

The US attacked two al Qaeda training camps with 63 air strikes and a ground assault by 200 US and Afghan troops, CNN reported.

The attack, near the Pakistan border, left at least 100 people dead. It has not been possible to disaggregate those killed in the ground operation from the air operation.

The attack was “one of the largest ground-assault operations we have ever conducted in Afghanistan,” Pengaton spokesman General Wilson Shoffner said. It hit a “major al Qaeda sanctuary”.

“This camp is unique in its level of technical training. The training camp was broken down by basic and advance training areas. Training ranged from physical fitness, weapons training (small arms to advanced explosive training, indirect fire), chemistry to produce advanced explosives, and higher level sniper training,” coalition forces said.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike, Afghan and US assault
Location: Shurabak district, Kandahar province
References: TOLO News, Washington Post, CNN, Washington Post

AFG108
October 13 2015

♦ 6 reported killed

The US killed the Islamic State Khorasan Province’s mufti – a senior religious and legal scholar, according to the Long War Journal. The strike reportedly hit in Nangarhar and killed mufti, Jalaluddin, and five of his men.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: Long War Journal

Afghan Air Force Strike
October 18 2015

♦ 18 reported killed

Up to 18 Taliban killed as “warplanes” targeted Taliban hideouts in Nad Ali district of Helmand province.

An army spokesman told Xinhua: “Acting on tip-off, the warplanes carried out air raids and struck Taliban hideouts in Loimanda area of Nad Ali district Sunday morning, killing 18 rebels on the spot.”

At least 20 insurgents and 10 policemen were killed on Sunday when militants were attacked security posts in Nad Ali. An official told Pahjwok that Taliban attacked security posts in Loymanda, Gharbi-31, Chah Anjeer and Kufki in the morning. At around 11am, a firefight left 10 police dead. Two AAN positions had fallen to the Taliban. Around 300 militants involved in the attack, a local resident said. He said a number of attacks by helicopters hit insurgent positions.

“Local officials say that Taliban launched coordinated attacks on a number of security posts in Kofka and Loy Manda areas of Nad Ali District and Babaji area, located between the provincial capital and Nad Ali District” on Sunday morning. 18 Taliban were killed in airstrikes in the Babaji area, including a Taliban commander, Colonel Mohammad Rasoul Zazai told Khaama Press.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Kofka and Loy Manda areas, Nad Ali district, Babaji area between Lashkar Gar and Nad Ali district, Helmand province
References: Xinhua, Pahjwok, Khaama Press

AFG109
October 19 2015
♦ Up to 20 reported killed

A US air strike and Afghan ground operation left 20 alleged Taliban insurgents dead in the central province of Logar.

Brigadier General Daud Ahmadi, the provincial police chief, said: “The Taliban travelling in four pick-ups came under attack that left 20 militants dead.”

It is not clear whether the convoy was targeted by US aircraft alone, resulting in the 20 deaths. There was an Afghan army ground operation the same night that cleared several villages of insurgents, according to the district police chief.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike, Afghan assault
Location: Kharwar district, Logar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Press TV

AFG109C
October 22 2015

♦ 1 reported killed

The Taliban shadow deputy governor of Faryab province was reportedly killed in an “airstrike in Qaisar district”. It was not clear if the strike was carried out by US or Afghan forces, with a local army spokesman merely describing the attack as an “airstrike”.

Type of attack: Possible US air strike
Location: Qaisar district, Faryab province
References: Khaama Press

AFG110
October 23 2015
♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

A housing compound was reportedly destroyed in a US drone strike. Six people were reportedly killed, with three more injured.

The attack hit in an area of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province that borders Pakistan’s tribal areas. Unnamed Pakistani secuirty and intelligence sources told media outlets the strike killed fighters belonging to the Islamic State group.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: IANS, Express Tribune, The Nation

AFG111
October 23 2015
♦ 8-10 reported killed

Eight or ten people were reportedly killed in a strike on a housing compound in Achin district, Nangarhar province. The attack reportedly hit at 11am local time (6.30am GMT) and reportedly targeted “the house of Malik Niaz”. Islamic State fighters were reportedly killed including a Commander Omar.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamand or Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: IANS, Khaama Press, Afghan Islamic Press

AFG112
October 23 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

Three people were reportedly killed in a US strike on a “checkpoint” in Achin district of Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Afghan Islamic Press

AFG113
October 23 2015
♦ 10 reported killed

Ten more people were killed in the fourth reported strike of October 23 – this time in an attack on a checkpost in the Abdul Khel area of Achin district.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Abdul Khel area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Afghan Islamic Press

Afghan Air Force Strike
October 24 2015

♦ Up to 47 reported killed

Afghan airstrikes and special forces reportedly killed at least 47 people across several areas in the southern Helmand province. It was not clear how many people were killed by Afghan special forces and how many by the Air Force.

The combined operations were reportedly launched to try to push Taliban fighters out of Helmand province. The overnight operations reportedly left five Taliban commanders among the dead.

Type of attack: AAF air strike and Afghan ground attack
Location: Babaji, Charbagh and Khudai Rahim areas, Nad Ali district, Helmand province
References: Pahjwok, IAN/Xinhua, The Nation

AFG113C
October 25 2015
♦ 12 reported killed

Twelve more alleged Taliban were killed in Helmand province, according to a local military spokesman. It was not clear if this was a US or Afghan airstrike. Earlier in October, the Afghan Air Force had deployed its some of its small fleet of strike-capabale helicopters to the province.

Type of attack: Possible US Air Attack
Location: Baba Ji area, Helmand province
References: Xinhua

AFG114
October 27 2015
♦ 11-12 reported killed
♦ 0-1 civilian reported killed

A US airstrike reportedly killed 11 alleged militants in a strike in Nangarhar province. The attack hit a vehicle and possibly killed one “foreign hostage” being held by the insurgents. The attack also reportedly killed a Taliban commander and five foreign fighters.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Syah Cho area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG115
October 29 2015

♦ 3-4 reported killed

At least three alleged Islamic State fighters were reportedly killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province. There was a suggestion a commander was killed with them when the attack hit the house they were in.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: IANS, Dawn, Daily Pakistan

AFG116
October 29 2015
3 reported killed

An alleged Arab insurgent commander, Bilal al Naiby (aka Bilal al Taib), was reportedly killed along with his two Afghan bodyguards in an evening drone strike. He was a “key al Qaeda member,” according to the provincial police chief, Brigadier General Abdul Habib Syedkhel.

Type of attack: Air attack – US air strike
Location: Darin area, Ghazi Abad district, Kunar province
References: TOLO News, Pajhwok, The Nation, Khaama Press

AFG117
October 29 2015

♦ 4 reported killed
♦ 2 people injured

Four alleged Pakistan Taliban fighters were reportedly killed in a suspected US drone strike in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. The attack was reported by unnamed Pakistani security officials. The attack reportedly hit a “hide out” in an area bordering Pakistan.

Type of attack: Air attack – US air strike
Location: Lal Pura district, Nangarhar province
References: Dawn

AFG117C
October 31 2015

♦ 12 reported killed

Twelve Pakistan Taliban fighters were reportedly killed in a US air or drone strike in Ghazni province. “Acting upon intelligence report, air raids were conducted against militants hideout in Nawa district, leaving 12 insurgents including Taliban key commander Mullah Manan dead on Saturday morning,” the provincial governor told Xinhua.

Type of attack: Possible US air strike
Location: Nawa district, Ghazni province
References: Xinhua

AFG118
October 31 2015
♦ 2 reported killed

Two alleged Pakistani Taliban fighters were reportedly killed in “a Nato drone strike” in the eastern Kunar province. The attack hit overnight in the Shultan valley on the Pakistan border, according to Kunar police chief Brigadier General Abdul Habib Syedkhel.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Choni Sar area, Shultan valley, Shigal district, Kunar province
References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press


November 2015

Afghan Air Force strike
November 3 2015

♦ 1 civilian reported killed
♦ 4 civilians injured, including two children and a woman

An Afghan helicopter strike left one civilian dead and four injured. The attack hit a residential area as the Afghan army was trying to re-take Dasht e Archi district centre. The strike was reportedly due to a faulty GPS system on the helicopter.

Type of operation: AAF air strike
Location: Dasht e Archi district centre, Kunduz province
References: United Nations

AFG119
November 4 2015
♦ 0-29 reported killed

Air strikes and mortar fire killed as many as 29 people, reportedly fighters loyal to the Islamic State group. It was not immediately possible to disaggregate how many died in the mortar fire and how many in the air attack.

Type of attack: Air and ground attack – US air strike, Afghan mortar fire
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG120
November 8 2015
♦ 3 reported killed
♦ 1 person injured

A US air attack left three people dead and one injured in the eastern Nangarhar province.

A drone reportedly dstroyed a Taliban “hideout”. One of the dead and the wounded man were said to have been from Pakistan.

The strike hit as Afghan forces continued a ground operation in Achin district of Nangarhar, killing at least 25 fighters reportedly loyal to the Islamic State group.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Gulai area, Ghanikhel district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency

AFG121
November 14 2015
♦ 12-13 reported killed

At least 12 people were reportedly killed in Nangarhar province. Nine of the dead were reportedly foreign and the Taliban shadow governor for Khogyani district was killed, according to Afghan officials.

The drone strike hit in Nangarhar’s Khogyani district. The group of alleged insurgents were reportedly travelling in a Datsun vehicle.

The strike killed Noor Rahman, the district’s shadow governor, as well as Syed Jan, a local Taliban commander. Three of the dead were Afghans, according to Ahmad Zai Abdulzai, the spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province.

Hazrat Omar Mashriqiwal, a spokesman for the provincial police chief said: “The shadow governor named Noor Ahmed and his men were targeted while they were in a vehicle and preparing for an attack.”

While Abdulzai and Mashriqiwal said the dozen men were killed by a US drone strike, a Ministry of Interior statement said the men were killed in a “special operation”.

Type of attack: US drone strike
Location: Landi Kambo area, Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency, Associated Press, UPI, Ministry of Interior

AFG122
November 17 2015

♦ 8 reported killed

Eight alleged Taliban insurgents were reportedly killed in a drone strike in Nangarhar, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor Attaullah Khogyani.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Behsood district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG123
November 18 2015

♦ 21-50 reported killed

At least 21 people were reportedly killed in a US drone strike on an insurgent training base in Kunar province.

Details of this attack emerged after the bodies of the dead were taken across the border into Pakistan to be buried. Various local and international media described how these funerals were held on November 20 in Upper and Lower Dir, Swat and Malakand – districts in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

As many as 71 bodies were reportedly taken across the border to Pakistan, AIP reported. They were believed to have been killed in various US air strikes in Afghanistan.

Some were possibly victims of one of the recent US strikes in Nangarhar, with sources in Kunar telling AIP some of the dead had been taken from that province into Pakistan. The governor of Ali Sher district in Khost province, Javed Joshan, told AIP the US drones targeted insurgent camps in the Katwai area of Babarak Thana district.

Dozens of insurgents were killed, according to Joshan though he could not provide an exact figure. Commander of fourth border zone police in Khost, General Abdul Basir Khpalwak told AIP about the strike but also could not say how many had died.

The funerals were reportedly well attended by the local population. Thousands were in attendance, according to AFP, with funeral prayers offered in Dir Stadium in Upper Dir.

The men killed in this attack were reportedly members of Al Badar Mujahideen, a Pakistani terrorist group associated with the Afghan insurgency including the Hezb e Islami group. Alamzeb Khan, a district official in Lower Dir, told AFP: “I myself attended the funeral prayer of four fighters, villagers told me they were mujahideen.” He said the coffins were wrapped in the flag of al Badr Mjuahideen.

Name Alias Father Place of origin
Ziaullah Anwar Shaha Mingora, Swat
Mohammad Ayaz Ali Taj Malook Salarzo Darra, Bajaur
Khanzada Akhundzada Fazl Ghani Surbaat village, Upper Dir
Zubair Waqas Sahib Jan College Colony, Upper Dir
Iqrar Ahmed Iqrar Mohammed Karim Rehan Kot, Upper Dir
Mohammed Shoaib Mohammed Asif Fazl Khaliq Loe Sari Darra, Upper Dir
Kamal Khan Saaz Khan Rehan Kot, Upper Dir
Subhani Gul Osama Takor Samar Bagh, Lower Dir
Hassan Khan Umar Farooq Fazl Saeed Kharakzai, Chakdarar, Lower Dir
Yasinullah Yasin Akbar Khan Khaal, Lower Dir
Ziaullah Maaz Member Khan Maidan, Lower Dir
Shahidullah Shahid Nooruddin Rehan Kot, Upper Dir
Umar Hussain Abbas Mohammed Malik Manogai, Lower Dir
Hassan Khan Sohail Sher Zamin Khan Manogai, Lower Dir
Badar Mohammed Talha Rowaiz Khan Jabbar Patay, Lower Dir
Naveed Raza Khalid Abbas Shakirullah Upper Dir
Irshad Ahmed Ahmed Inyat Khan Hayaia, Upper Dir
Shaukat Ali Osama Haider Barkht Rawan Parao Shao, Upper Dir
Shayazullah Gul Shah Fanizer Khan Timergara, Lower Dir
Gul Din Spergai Tigga, Kurram Agency (used to live in Upper Dir)

The names of 20 men reportedly killed in Afghanistan and buried in Pakistan, published by The News International.

The faces of the dead were not shown – the bodies were badly mutilated and the names of the fighters were written on the coffin lids. Some coffins reportedly only held body parts. This was not the first time corpses had been brought back across from Afghanistan to Pakistan for burial. However Upper Dir residents said in the past one or two bodies had arrived at a time – this was the first time the bodies had arrived in such numbers. “I fear that the number of fighters killed in the drone strike was high and we may receive more dead bodies,” a security official told AFP.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Babrak Thana district, Khost province
References: New York Times, The News, AFP, Dawn, AIP, Al Jazeera

AFG123C
November 22 2015
♦ 5 reported killed

The NDS spy agency said the Taliban shadow governor of Deh Zabz district in Kabul province was killed along with four of his men, in Behsood district of Nangarhar province. It was not clear from the limited reports whether this was a drone strike or other military operation.

Type of attack: Unclear
Location: Behsood district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG124
November 24 2015
♦ 2 reported killed

US drones killed two alleged Taliban fighters in Nangarhar province, according to the provincial police headquarters and Afghan ministry of defence.

One of the dead was identified as Qari Salim, the shadow governor of Gushta district in Nangarhar. He was reportedly killed with one of his companions

“Two militants were killed in an airstrike in Dabila area of Mohmand Dara District around 5 o’clock yesterday, among them is a so-called district governor of armed militants,” according to a statement from Nangarhar police headquarters.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Dabila area, Mohmand Dara district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Xinhua

AFG125
November 24 2015
♦ 8 reported killed

Eight Taliban were killed in a strike in Behsood district, the Nangarhar provincial governor’s spokesman said. The men were travelling through the area at night.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Behsood district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG126
November 25 2015
♦ 10-16 reported killed
♦ 20 reported injured

A US drone strike reportedly killed at least 10 people in a strike on the border with Pakistan.

Unnamed Pakistani officials said the leader of a Pakistan Taliban splinter faction, Khan Syed (aka Sanja), was killed in the attack. Taliban fighters Naeem Kochi and Kifayat Kochi were also reportedly killed.

It was not immediately clear if Syed had been killed in the strike. US forces in Afghanistan carried out two strikes in the same district on November 25. However a public affairs officer refused to confirm or deny whether they had even targeted, let alone killed Syed. US Army Colonel Michael Lawhorn, US Forces Afghanistan’s spokesman, told the Bureau:

US forces conducted two strikes during operations in Terayzai district, Khost Province, [on November 25] against individuals threatening the force. For operational security reasons, we will not get into our targeting processes and methods, or discuss what may or may not have been targeted in the past. At this time, [Resolute Support] has not received any reports of civilian casualties [from these strikes].

A Taliban spokesman denied his leader was dead, telling Al Jazeera he had been with Syed hours earlier and would have heard if Syed had been killed. And the district governor, Javed Joshan, told RFE/RL 10 people had been killed in a strike in his district. He said most of the dead were from Pakistan however he did not name any of them.

If Syed’s death is confirmed, “it would certainly be a big blow to the Taliban, both in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” an anonymous Taliban source told the New York Times.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Gagi Mountain, Ali Shir area, Tere Zayi district, Khost province
References: RFE/RL, Xinhua, New York Times, Al Jazeera, The News, TOLO News, Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force Strike
November 29 2015
♦ 20 reported killed
♦ 10 reported injured

Afghan Air Force helicopters killed “at least 20 insurgents”, according to Pajhwok, the Afghan news agency. “Hideouts” were reportedly targeted, as well as three armoured vehicles.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Kunduz and Jawzjan province
References: Pajhwok


December 2015

AFG127
December 3 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

A drone strike killed three alleged Pakistani Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan, a provincial police chief told reporters.

Brigadier General Abdul Habib Sydkhel told Pajhwok three members of the TTP were killed in the attack that did not harm any civilians.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Nakora area, Chapa Dara district, Kunar province
References: Pajhwok

December 3 2015
A joint US-Afghan special forces raid freed more than 60 Afghan policemen and civilians from a Taliban prison.

The operation reportedly involved an air assault by Afghan and possibly US special forces and the Afghan Air Force’s Special Mission Wing.

Type of attack: Helicopter assault – US-Afghan ground operation
Location: Nawzad district, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press, New York Times

AFG128
December 8 2015
♦ 11 reported killed

A US drone strike reportedly killed killed 11 alleged insurgents in Nangarhar province, according to the provincial police chief’s spokesman.

The strike hit the alleged insurgents as they passed through the district, Lt Col Hazrat Hussain Mashriquel told journalists. He also said five more insurgents were killed when their vehicle hit a mine in Charparhar district in Nangarhar province.

Several districts in Nangarhar had reportedly fallen under the control of Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Ador area, Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Pajhwok, Khaama Press

AFG129
December 13 2015
♦ Unknown killed

In early December the US provided Afghan forces in Helmand with considerable combat support – both special forces on the ground and air support – according to a New York Times story.

The support came as Afghan officials complained that they were on the brink of losing key districts in Helmand province.

The insurgents had threatened to roll through outer districts to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. Direct support by eight US special forces operatives leading a contingent of Afghan soldiers prevented a pivotal district from falling. “The appearance of the Americans rallied the local police forces in both Marja and Lashkar Gah,” according to Toofan Waziri, a Helmand politician. “I think the province would have been lost without them. And the neighboring provinces would then have come under pressure, too.”

The number of air attacks was not specified in the piece. It reported that Hajji Mohammad Karim Attal, head of the provincial council, said: “Earlier in December, NATO forces had carried out heavy airstrikes in several districts of Helmand, including Marja, Sangin and Babaji.” For clarity the attacks are recorded in a single entry in this timeline. At least three strikes have been added to the tally recorded at the top of this page.

Type of attack: US air and ground operations
Location: Marja, Sangin and Babaji districts, Helmand province
References: New York Times

AFG130
December 15 2015
♦ 9 reported killed

A joint US-Afghan operation left nine “dangerous” Taliban gunmen dead, according to Muhammad Ali Ahmadi, dpeuty governor of Ghazni province. It was not immediately possible to disaggregate who was killed by US and by Afghan forces. The Taliban alleged all those killed were civilians.

Type of attack: US air and Afghan ground operations
Location: Sher Khan village, Deh Yak district, Ghazni province
References: Afghan Islamic Press

AFG131
December 19 2015
♦ 3 reported killed
♦ “Several” reported injured

A US strike reportedly killed three Taliban members in the eastern Nangarhar province, according to “security sources” cited by Dawn. The newspaper reported the strike flattened a “hideout” and left several others injured.

The US military headquarters in Kabul made no mention of casualties or whether a building was targeted. US Army Colonel Michael Lawhorn said: “US forces conducted a strike in Bati Kot District, Nangarhar Province, December 19 against individuals threatening the force.”

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Reuters, Dawn

Afghan Air Force Strike
December 21 2015

♦ 1 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

The first of a multiple Afghan Air Force strikes reported in Nangarhar. One person was reportedly killed, three more critically injured. The Afghan MoD said the airstrike was carried out by Afghan helicopters providing the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps with close air support.

Type of strike: AAF Air Strike
Location: Hesarak district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG132
December 22 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

Three alleged insurgents were killed in a reported US drone strike. The strike hit at about 3pm near in the 28th Canal area of Ghani Khel, the provincial police spokesman told Afghan Islamic Press. The dead were part of an armed group commanded by Saifuddin. Nangarhar governor’s spokesman said all three were Taliban fighters.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: 28th Canal area, Ghani Khel district, Nangarhar province
References: Afghan Islamic Press

AFG133
December 23 2015
♦ Unknown reported killed

US forces carried out two air strikes in Sangin, Helmand, just before midnight. The strikes were in support of beleaguered Afghan forces trying to repel advancing Taliban insurgents. There was no information on the number of casualties from the strikes.

US Army spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn said “US forces conducted two strikes in Sangin” targeting “threats against the force”.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Sangin district, Helmand province
References: Associated Press, AFP, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Sky News

Afghan Air Force Strike
December 23 2014

♦ 25 reported killed
♦ 12 people wounded

The Associated Press reported: “Afghan military airstrikes also bombarded Taliban strongholds in Sangin overnight, killing 25 insurgents and wounding another 12.”

Type of strike: AAF Air Strike
Location: Sangin district, Helmand province
References: Associated Press

AFG134
December 23 2015
♦ 3 reported killed

Three Taliban fighters were killed in a reported US drone strike in Nangarhar province, the provincial police forces reportedly said in a statement.

The strike killed three fighters loyal to a local Taliban commander, Saif ud Din.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Atewishtama Wyala area, Ghanikhel district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force Strikes
December 27 2014

♦ 68 reported killed

The Afghan Air Force reportedly killed “at least 68” members of the so-called Islamic State group (Isis). The aerial assaults reportedly hit in areas across Achin district where many fighters who have aligned themselves with Isis are reportedly based. Some areas of Chaparhar district were also reportedly targeted.

The strikes came a day after Afghan media reported pro-government militiamen beheaded four allegedly Isis-aligned men. The beheadings were reportedly carried out in revenge for the beheading of four fighters from the pro-government militia.

The militia had reportedly been mobilised by the local MP, Haji Zahir Qadir, to fight the Isis-aligned group in Achin district.

Type of strike: AAF Air Strikes
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: The Nation (Pakistan), Khaama Press, Khaama Press, TOLO News


US Reaper drones at Kandahar air base in June 2015

Afghan Air Force Strike
December 28 2015

♦ 38 reported killed

Afghan Air Force strikes reportedly killed 38 fighters from various armed groups in Achin and Chaparhar districts of Nangarhar province.

One strike hit a “joint gathering” of fighters who have pledged allegiance to Isis and Lashkar e Islam, led by notorious Pakistani militant chief Mangal Bagh. The number of casualties for this attack was not known.

Another strike hit a hideout in the Sulaimankhil area of Chaparhar district. The hideout belonged to two men, Habibzai and Mullah Naeem. It was destroyed and 38 men were reported killed.

Type of strike: AAF Air Strikes
Location: Achin and Chaparhar districts, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG135
December 29 2015
♦ 2 reported killed

Two Taliban commanders were reportedly killed by US drones in eastern Afghanistan. Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for Laghman province’s governor, said US drones killed the men – Zarjan and Dil Aghan – in an afternoon strike.

The attack reportedly hit at approximately 3pm. Zarjan reportedly came from the Bombai area of Dawlat Shah district and the Afghan security forces had had him under surveillance.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Masboud valley, Alishang district, Laghman province
References: Khaama Press, Afghan Islamic Press

Afghan Air Force Strike
December 30 2015
♦ 25 reported killed
♦ 31 reported injured

Twenty-five Isis fighters were killed in two air strikes in Nangarhar province, Afghan officials said. “Afghan army gunship helicopters retrofitted with MD-530 and MI-14 machineguns targeted two gatherings,” Afghan Islamic Press reported.

The attacks were based on coordinates given by the ANA’s 201st Silab Cops however it did not say if it was a US or Afghan attack. The attack hit before noon, according to Numan Hatifi, spokesman for the 201st. The strikes reportedly targeted two “gatherings” of fighters loyal to commanders Abdul Khaliq and Sayed Amarati, who was thought to have been killed in the attack.

Type of strike: AAF Air Strikes
Location: Qala e Shikhan area, Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Afghan Islamic Press

Afghan Air Force Strike
December 31 2015

♦ 14 reported killed
♦ 12 reported injured

More Afghan Air Force strikes reportedly killed 14 people reportedly affiliated with Isis. The strikes “pounded the sanctuaries of the terror group” destroying weapons and ammunition.

Type of strike: AAF Air Strikes
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

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