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 1985-1986
Total reported killed 767-1060
Civilians reported killed 92-163
Children reported killed 14-51
Total reported injured 106-166
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 Page 14

AFG558 link

10 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

"In Wardak Province, 14 strikes destroyed seven command and control sites, one cave, one vehicle, one building, one storage facility, and one tactical unit," the US said in a report.

The report detailed strikes carried out by the US in Afghanistan in September. The release of it brought an end to a year-long blackout on US strike data in Afghanistan (for more on this, see here)

AFG557 link

10 September 2018

  • Unknown reported killed

US forces said they carried out four strikes in Nangarhar province on this day, destroying seven structures and a tactical unit.

No information was provided on casualty estimates.

AFG556 link

10 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike hit Khost province destroying what the US described as a tactical unit.

The information came from a report released by Resolute Support, the US-led Nato mission in Afghanistan.

AFG555 link

10 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Six strikes hit Helmand destroying "one command and control site, one tactical unit, and one vehicle", a US report said.

There was no casualty information included.

AFG554 link

10 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Six US strikes hit Baghlan province on September 10, according to a US report on its strikes that month.

The strikes destroyed two motorcycles and two tactical units (explained in the entry below), the report said.

No information was given on casualties.

AFG553 link

10 September 2018

  • 30 reported killed

The US carried out two strikes against Taliban leaders and fighters assembled at adjacent compounds in Ghazni's Nawah district, according to a statement accompanying a video of the strikes posted by Resolute Support on DVIDS.

The "double-structure strike" killed 30 members of the Taliban, it said.

Strikes kill dozens of Taliban fighters in Ghazni

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - U.S. Forces in Afghanistan conducted two kinetic strikes against Taliban leaders and fighters assembled at adjacent compounds in Nawah district, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, September 10, 2018. The double-structure strike resulted in 30 Taliban killed. PUBLIC DOMAIN

AFG552 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

"In Wardak Province, six strikes destroyed one car bomb facility, one structure, one tactical unit, and denied terrain," a US report stated.

A tactical unit likely refers to a group of fighters designed to function as a single unit in combat. A strike to deny terrain, according to a US spokesperson, is one that does not target buildings or people, but aims to prevent the enemy from occupying or traversing an area of land.

The report, published on Resolute Support's website in October, details US strikes in Afghanistan in September.

AFG551 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike hit Paktia province on September 9, a US report shows.

The strike destroyed one motorcycle and one tactical unit (a definition can be found here).

The report detailed US strikes in September. The release of it brought an end to a year-long blackout on US strike data in Afghanistan (for more on this, see here)

AFG550 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Eight US strikes hit Nangarhar province on September 9, according to a US report on strikes during that month.

The strikes destroyed "one structure, one tactical unit, and denied terrain".

No additional details were provided.

AFG549 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Kunar province destroyed one tactical unit (a definition can be found here).

The above information came from a US report on strikes in Afghanistan in September, the release of which ended a year-long data blackout.

AFG548 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

In Kapisa province, one US strike destroyed a bomb making facility and one tactical unit, according to the US.

No casualty estimates were given.

AFG547 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three US strikes hit Baghlan province on September 9, a US report released in October stated.

The strikes "neutralised two vehicles and destroyed one tactical unit", it said.

AFG546C link

9 September 2018

  • 6 reported killed
  • 3 reported injured

The Taliban's chief for Baghlan province's Borka district was killed in an air strike, according to Major Ghulam Hazrat Karimi, a spokesperson for a division of the Afghan army. However, it was unclear whether Afghan or US forces carried out the strike.

The strike reportedly hit a vehicle killing six Taliban fighters and injuring a further three. The Taliban district chief allegedly among the dead. He was was named as Qari Saifuddin, also known as Huzaifa.

The date of the strike was not clear, although it was reported on September 9.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Mangalo area, Baghlan e Markazi district, Baghlan province
  • References: Afghan Islamic Press via BBC Monitoring

AFG546 link

9 September 2018

  • Unknown

A compound containing a large weapons and explosives cache was discovered by Afghan forces in Helmand's Nad Ali district. The US Marines' Task Force Southwest conducted a strike to destroy the compound. The strike is shown in a video posted on DVIDS by Resolute Support.

The site was hit by a ground-based rocket artillery strike using the HIMARS, described by the Long War Journal as a "truck mounted multiple launch rocket platform".

The statement accompanying the video said, "In support of ANDSF manoeuvre, Task Force Southwest conducted a strike on the compound with HIMARS to safely and completely eliminate the hazardous material from the battlespace, degrading the Taliban's ability to conduct combat operations in central Helmand."

In a later press release on September's strike figures, the US forces said they carried out five strikes. These, they said, destroyed one structure, one tactical unit and denied terrain.

No casualties estimates were provided.

TFSW Nad 'Ali HIMARS Strike

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Sept. 9, 2018)- Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) conducted operations in Nad 'Ali District and discovered a compound containing a large weapons and explosives cache. In support of ANDSF maneuver, Task Force Southwest conducted a strike on the compound with HIMARS to safely and completely eliminate the hazardous material from the battlespace, degrading the Taliban's ability to conduct combat operations in central Helmand.

AFG545 link

8 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

In Logar province, two US strikes "denied terrain", according to a report on Resolute Support's website.

Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

There was no information on casualties.

AFG544 link

8 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Five US strikes hit Helmand province on September 8, according to a report published on Resolute Support's website.

The strikes destroyed two tactical units, the meaning of which is outlined in the entry below.

AFG543 link

8 September 2018

  • Unknown

In a release of data in October, the US said it carried out sevens strike in Wardak on this day.

In the October release, it said the strikes destroyed a cave and one weapons cache.

The strike on the weapons cache was likely shown in a video posted earlier on DVIDS by Resolute Support. It showed a strike hitting what was described as a "HME storage site" in Wardak province on September 8. HME likely stands for homemade explosives.

Strike Video

WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Sept. 8, 2018)

AFG542 link

7 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A strike in Paktika province destroyed a vehicle and one tactical unit, according to newly released data from the US.

A tactical unit likely means a group of fighters working as a single unit in combat.

There was no information on casualties.

AFG541 link

7 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

The US hit Nangarhar with a barrage of strikes on September 7, launching 23 in total across the day.

The strikes "destroyed two structures, one tactical unit , and denied terrain", the US said in report.

No casualty estimates were provided.

AFG540 link

7 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike neutralised a car bomb in Logar province, according to a US report.

The report detailed US strikes in September. The release of it brought an end to a year-long blackout on US strike data in Afghanistan (for more on this, see here)

AFG539 link

7 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Kabul province destroyed a "tactical unit", the US said in a report on strikes in Afghanistan in September.

No casualty estimates were provided.

AFG538 link

7 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Helmand province destroyed a motorcycle, according to a report published on Resolute Support's website.

There was no information on casualties.

AFG537 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike hit Paktia province on September 6, according to a US report.

The strike destroyed a motorcycle and a tactical unit, which can be defined as an organisation of fighters working as one single unit in combat.

The information was part of a release of data which detailed US strikes in September. The release brought an end to a year-long blackout on US strike data in Afghanistan (for more on this, see here).

AFG536 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

The US carried out four strikes in Nangarhar province in efforts to deny terrain to the enemy, according to a US report on its strikes in September.

Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

There was no information on casualties.

AFG535 link

6 September 2018

  • 1 civilian reported injured

One civilian was injured in a US strike in Logar province, the American military have admitted in a report released by the Department of Defense (DoD).

Earlier data released by US Forces - Afghanistan showed that two buildings were destroyed in two strikes in Logar.

The strikes also denied terrain, the meaning of which is explained in the entry below.

No information was provided on casualties.

AFG534 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

"In Laghman Province, six strikes destroyed two fighting positions and denied enemy terrain," according to the US military in a report on strikes in Afghanistan in September .

Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

There was no information on any casualties.

AFG533 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three strikes in Kunar province destroyed four fighting positions, according to a US report on strikes in Afghanistan in September.

There was no information on casualty estimates.

AFG532 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Khost province destroyed one tactical unit (a definition can be found here).

The above information came from a US report on strikes in Afghanistan in September, the release of which ended a year-long data blackout.

AFG531 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

"In Kandahar Province, one strike destroyed two tactical units, one weapons cache, and one tunnel system," a US report said.

The report detailed US strikes that took place in September. It was published on the website of Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission, on October 4, following a year blackout on Afghan strike data (more details can be found here).

No casualty estimates were provided.

AFG530 link

6 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three US strikes hit Helmand on September 6, the US said in a report.

The strikes destroyed a drugs lab, a vehicle and a tactical unit, it said.

In November 2017, US forces were given new targeting authorities that allowed them to go after the Taliban's revenue streams and they began striking drugs labs.

There was no information on casualties.

AFG529C link

6 September 2018

  • 13 reported killed
  • 4 reported injured

A strike in Faryab province hit the compound of a Taliban leader, according to 209th Shaheen Corps (part of the Afghan army), as reported by Khaama Press. However, it was unclear whether the strike was carried out by US or Afghan forces.

The strike reportedly killed at least 13 members of the group and injured a further four. It was unclear if the alleged Taliban leader, named as Qari Rahmatullah, was among the dead.

It was not clear when the strike took place, although it was reported on September 6.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Sayad Koh area, Sherin Tagab district, Faryab province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG529 link

5 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike hit Uruzgan province on September 5, according to the US.

In a report posted on the website of Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission, said the strike "denied terrain".

Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

AFG528 link

5 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Eight US strikes hit Nangarhar province on September 5, according to data released by the US.

The strikes reportedly destroyed one fighting position and one tactical unit. There was no information on any casualties.

AFG527 link

5 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three US strikes "denied terrain" in Kapisa province on September 5, a report released by the US has said.

Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

There was no information on casualties.

AFG526 link

5 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

US forces carried out five strikes in Kandahar province on September 5, new data from the US shows.

The strikes destroyed "two tactical units, one vehicle, one weapon, one fighting position, and one improvised explosive device (IED)".

There was no information provided on casualties.

AFG525 link

5 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three US strikes hit Helmand on September 5, destroying a drugs lab, alongside a motorcycle and a tactical unit, new data released by the US shows.

In November 2017, US forces were given new targeting authorities that allowed them to go after the Taliban's revenue streams and they began striking drugs labs.

There was no information on casualties.

AFG524 link

5 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Three strikes destroyed a vehicle in Ghazni province, according to a US report detailing strikes in September.

There was no casualty information.

AFG523 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

In Wardak province, two US strikes "denied terrain", according to newly released US data.

Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

There was no information on casualties.

AFG522 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes in Nangarhar province destroyed one tactical unit (a definition can be found here).

The above information came from a US report on strikes in Afghanistan in September, the release of which ended a year-long data blackout.

AFG521 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Kunduz province destroyed one tactical unit, according to the US military.

No information was provided on casualty estimates.

AFG520 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

"In Kunar Province, four strikes destroyed one fighting position, one weapons cache, and one tactical unit," a US report says.

The report detailed US strikes that took place in September. It was published on the website of Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission, on October 4, following a year blackout on Afghan strike data (more details can be found here).

No casualty estimates were provided.

AFG519 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Kandahar province destroyed one vehicle and one tactical unit, according to US data.

A tactical unit has been described elsewhere as an "organisation of troops designed to function as a single unit in combat".

No information was given on casualties.

AFG518 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two US strikes took place in Herat province on September 4.

This information came from the US, who released a report on the military's strikes in Afghanistan in September.

The strikes destroyed one tactical unit, it said.

AFG517 link

4 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

"In Helmand Province, nine strikes destroyed eight vehicles, two tactical units, one command and control site, and one fighting position," a US military report read.

The report was published on Resolute Support's website and detailed US strikes in Afghanistan in September.

No further details were provided.

AFG516 link

3 September 2018

The US has said a strike in Paktika province destroyed one tactical unit.

A tactical unit has been described as an "organisation of troops designed to function as a single unit in combat".

The information was released by the US in October, along with information on all other strikes carried out in September.

AFG515 link

3 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

In Logar province, a strike destroyed a rocket, according to a US report.

The information was released as part of report on US strikes in Afghanistan in September. It was published on the website of Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission, on October 4, following a year blackout on Afghan strike data (more details can be found here).

AFG514 link

3 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

US forces carried out a strike in Kapisa province on September 3, US data shows.

A report posted on the website of Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission, said the strike "denied terrain". Last year, a US spokesperson explained to the Bureau what a "terrain denial" strike was. He said, "These strikes are not targeting buildings or people, but to deny the adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land."

There was no information on casualties.

AFG513 link

3 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

Two US strikes in Kabul province on September 3 destroyed one structure and one tactical unit, according to the US military.

While it does not specify what a tactical unit is, it is described elsewhere as an "organisation of troops designed to function as a single unit in combat".

No information was given on casualties.

AFG512 link

3 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

US forces carried out four strikes in Helmand province on September 3, newly released US data shows.

The strikes destroyed one "tactical unit". No casualty information was given.

The information was part of a release of data which detailed US strikes in September. The release brought an end to a year-long blackout on US strike data in Afghanistan (for more on this, see here)

AFG511 link

2 September 2018

  • Unknown casualties

A US strike in Kandarhar province on September 2 destroyed one "homemade explosive cache", newly released data shows.

The data comes from a report published on Resolute Support's website. It details strikes carried out in September.

Comments