Afghanistan: Reported US covert actions 2018

The timeline below contains information on all US air attacks on Afghanistan recorded by the Bureau in 2018. It is updated with the latest US air attacks. We also log Afghan Air Force attacks when they are reported. The Bureau collects information on the US and Afghan strikes and the people they kill from local and international media reports – including the Bureau’s own field investigations – as well as academics and NGOs that cite US, Afghan and Pakistani civil, military and intelligence officials, and witnesses and local people in the affected areas.

Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. The information below represents our present best estimate.

Background

US aircraft have been bombing Afghanistan since late 2001 and the airstrikes have continued into the Trump administration. Up until December 2014 the US was operating in concert with its allies in the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force. Now it is just the US, and the Afghans, flying strike missions in the country.

The Bureau began tracking the strikes from January 1 2015 onwards, when the US and Nato’s combat mission in Afghanistan came to an end. The Afghan military and police took the lead in fighting the Taliban with the US and its international partners moving into a non-combat “train, advise, assist” role, supporting local forces.

US air forces are still flying combat missions however. There are three targeting authorities that govern the kind of strikes the US can conduct in Afghanistan.

Force protection strikes are intended to protect friendly ground forces who are under attack, or are about to be attacked. From January 1 2015 the US was supposed to stop deliberately going after the Taliban, leaving that to the Afghans. But in June 2016, with the Taliban pushing the Afghan forces to breaking point, the US went on the offensive against the Taliban, under “strategic effect” strikes.

The third authority governs the US’s counter-terrorism strikes, part of its offensive operations against al Qaeda and, since January 2016, Afghanistan’s Islamic State offshoot.

Full data

The Bureau publishes a narrative timeline of US strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen each year. Links for all other timelines can be found here.

We also publish spreadsheets detailing casualty numbers in each country. You can download the entire Afghanistan sheet here.

Reported US strikes, Afghanistan 2018
Strikes recorded by the Bureau
Total reported strikes 1968-1969
Total reported killed 713-1010
Civilians reported killed 32-122
Children reported killed 1-50
Total reported injured 81-143
US Air Force reported air operations, Afghanistan 2018
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties with at least one weapon release 783
Total CAS sorties 6,584
Total weapons released 5982

Strikes

AFG1158 link

31 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1157 link

31 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three strikes hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1156C link

31 December 2018

  • 5 civilians reported killed
  • 12 civilians reported wounded

The New York Times reported that civilians were killed when a house was hit in an attack by US helicopter gunships. However, data released by the US showed no strikes on this day.

The NYT's found that two civilian men and three women were killed. Twelve others were wounded, including nine women.

The strike reportedly occurred after the Taliban attacked a military convoy, looting five trucks loaded with uniforms and weapons. The convoy had been driving from Sheren Tagab District to Maimana City, the provincial capital. US helicopter gunships arrived, firing rockets at the trucks, but also hitting a house.

The information was published as part of a weekly Afghan casualty monitoring report the NYT releases. It didn't include sourcing information, but we contacted the reporter who put it together. He confirmed that that the sourcing met our methodological standards. We have however recorded it as a possible strike due to the US data.

AFG1156 link

31 December 2018

  • 7-8 reported killed, including 5-6 civilians

The New York Times reported than a US strike killed five civilians. The strike hit an event for Taliban members hosted by Haji Nayim, a former Jihadi leader and tribal elder.

Local news indicated that Nayim was a member of the High Peace Council. The HPC was established in 2010 by the then Afghan President Hamid Karzai to seek peace talks with the Taliban.

According to Pajhwok the event took place in Nayim's home, killing him and five relatives - his brother, a son and three other family members. Paktia HPC head Jannat Khan Mangal said it was unclear whether Nayim himself had been killed in the strike. The NYT reported that he did die, along with four other civilians and two Taliban commanders. We will include a range for the casualty toll to reflect the confusion.

The New York Times didn't include any information on their sourcing, but we contacted the reporter who put together the information. He confirmed that that the sourcing met our methodological requirements.

US data confirmed a strike in this province on this day in its monthly release of data.

AFG1155 link

30 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Eight strikes hit Wardak province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1154 link

30 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Paktika province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1153 link

30 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Eight strikes hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1152 link

30 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Logar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1151 link

30 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Eight strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1150 link

29 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Five strikes hit Wardak province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1149 link

29 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Four strikes hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1148 link

29 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Herat province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1147 link

29 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1146 link

29 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Four strikes hit Faryab province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1145 link

29 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Farah province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1144 link

28 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Six strikes hit Uruzgan province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1143 link

28 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Parwan province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1142 link

28 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Herat province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1141 link

28 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Four strikes hit Faryab province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1140 link

28 December 2018

The US carried out a strike in Nangarhar province, US data showed.

There had been a report of a strike in the province on this day. It reported killed a "top" leader in Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State has been killed in a strike in Nangarhar province, according to the 201st Silab Corps.

They identified the leader as Qari Riaz, describing him as being responsible for planning and coordinating major attacks in the country.

The 201st Silab Corps, which is part of the Afghan army, released a statement on the strike which was was reported by Khaama Press. But the sourcing is not strong enough for us to record this in our database of confirmed US strikes as yet.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1139 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Parwan province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1138 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Paktika province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1137 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1136 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Logar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1135 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strike hit Herat province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1134 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1133 link

27 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Five strikes hit Faryab province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1132 link

26 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Parwan province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1131 link

26 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Paktia province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1130 link

26 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1129 link

26 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Faryab province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1128 link

25 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Parwan province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1127 link

25 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Paktia province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1126 link

25 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1125 link

25 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Logar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1124 link

25 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1123 link

25 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Daykundi province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1122C link

25 December 2018

  • 4 reported killed

The Taliban's shadow military chief for Herat's Zawal district has reportedly been killed alongside three others in a US drone strike, Khaama Press reported based on the a statement from the provincial police department. The chief was named as Javid alias Mawladad.

However, the Bureau only includes a strike in its database when it is reported by a named or unnamed US official, named Afghan officials, named Pakistani officials, or anonymous sources from either country combined with one other kind of source, such as a local resident. Therefor this strike will the recorded here as a possible strike.

It was not clear when the strike is believed to have taken place, but it was reported on December 25.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Azizabad area, Zawal district, Herat province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1122 link

24 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1121 link

24 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Five strikes hit Logar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1120 link

24 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Kabul province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1119 link

24 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Herat province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1118 link

24 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Four strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1117 link

23 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Kandahar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1116 link

23 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Five strikes hit Helmand province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1115 link

23 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Farah province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1114C link

23 December 2018

  • 3 reported killed

A senior Taliban commander was killed in a US drone strike, The Express Tribune reported.

The commander, identified as Saifullah, was reportedly killed when a hideout he was in was struck in Paktika province’s Barmal district. Two of his associates are said to have also been killed in the attack.

The Express Tribune's information came from unspecified sources. We cannot record this strike as a confirmed US strike as this does not meet our methodological standards. We will update this post if not information comes to light.

US data showed no strikes on this day.

AFG1114 link

23 December 2018

  • 2-3 reported killed

A strike hit Nangarhar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

This is likely the drone strike that Afghan and US officials said killed the spokesperson of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State.

A US military official told Voice of America that Sultan Aziz Azam was killed on December 23 in Nangarhar province. However, an Afghan army statement reportedly said he was killed on December 26. According to that statement, he was killed in a "hideout" of the group in the province's Pachiragam district.

The US official said a second member of the group had been killed, while the spokesperson for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said Azam was killed along with three of his guards.

AFG1113 link

22 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Paktika province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.

AFG1112 link

22 December 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Logar province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

No further details were given. To see more about the release of this data, click here.