Afghanistan: Reported US covert actions 2019

The timeline below contains information on all US air attacks on Afghanistan recorded by the Bureau in 2019. 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 2019
Strikes recorded by the Bureau
Total reported strikes 1
Total reported killed 14-19
Civilian reported killed 4-5
Children reported killed 0
Total reported injured 0
US Air Force reported air operations, Afghanistan 2019
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties with at least one weapon release
Total CAS sorties
Total weapons released

Strikes

AFG1003CVII link

15 January 2019

  • 3 fighters

Coalition strikes in two districts in Helmand killed three Taliban fighters and a destroyed a weapons cache, Khaama Press reported.

Khaama Press could be referring to the Nato coalition. The US is the only known country to be flying strike missions that is part of that. The sourcing is also too vague to include this in our database.

The strike was reported by Khaama Press on January 15. It had taken place during the previous 24 hours.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Nahr e Saraj and Garmser districts, Helmand province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003CVI link

15 January 2019

  • 2 reported killed

A coalition air strike in Shah Joy district in Zabul province killed two "Taliban bomb facilitators and attack coordinators", Khaama Press reported.

Khaama Press could be referring to the Nato coalition. The US is the only known country to be flying strike missions that is part of that. The sourcing is also too vague to include this in our database.

The strike was reported by Khaama Press on January 15. It had taken place during the previous 24 hours.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Shah Joy district, Zabul province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003CV link

14 January 2019

  • 2 reported killed

Khaama Press reported that a coalition air strike in Darahye Pech district in Kunar province killed two Taliban fighters.

They could be referring to the Nato coalition. The US is the only known country to be flying strike missions that is part of that. But it is not clear. The sourcing is also too vague to include this in our database. It will be recorded here as a possible US strike.

The strike was reported by Khaama Press on 14 January. It had taken place at some-point in the previous 24 hours.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Darahye Pech district, Kunar province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003CIV link

14 January 2019

  • 11 reported killed

Two coalition strikes in Baghlan province left at least 11 Taliban fighters dead, Khaama Press reported.

They occurred in Dahanah ye Ghori and Baghlan e Jadid districts.

Khaama Press could be referring to the Nato coalition. The US is the only known country to be flying strike missions that is part of that. But it is not clear. The sourcing is also too vague to include this in our database.

The strikes were reported on by Khaama Press on January 14. They had taken place at some-point in the previous 24 hours.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Dahanah ye Ghori and Baghlan e Jadid districts, Baghlan province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003Ciii link

12 January 2019

  • 12 reportedly killed

The Taliban chief for Balkh's Zari district has been killed in a strike along with 11 other insurgents, according to a military official, but it was unclear if Afghan or US forces carried out the strike.

Mohammad Hanif Rezayee, spokesperson for a corps in the Afghan army, said the chief was moving from Sholgar district to Zari district when he came under attack. Twelve motorcycles were reportedly destroyed in the attack

The chief was named as Qari Qudratullah.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Sholgar district, Balkh province
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG1003Cii link

10 January 2019

  • 1 reported killed

Khaama Press reported that a leader of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State was killed in a coalition strike on January 10.

The leader, named as Abdul Karim, was described as the group's acting shadow governor for Kunar province.

Khaama Press could be referring to the Nato coalition. The US is the only known country to be flying strike missions that is part of that. But it is not clear. The sourcing is also too vague to include this in our database.

It is also not clear where the strike took place or if other people were killed in the strike.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Unknown
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003Ci link

10 January 2019

  • 1 reported killed

A commander of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State was reportedly killed in a coalition strike, Khaama Press reported.

The commander was identified as Khetab Emir, and "informed sources" told Khaama that he supplied explosives and provided logistical support to enable high-profile attacks in in Nangarhar province.

Khaama Press could be referring to the Nato coalition. The US is the only known country to be flying strike missions that is part of that. But it is not clear. The sourcing is also too vague to include this in our database.

It is also not clear where the strike took place or if other people were killed in the strike.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Unknown
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003C link

7 January 2019

Khaama Press reported multiple coalition strikes occurring in different provinces over a 24 hour period. However, the sourcing was too vague to include any of them in our database of confirmed US strikes.

It is unclear what is meant by coalition strike. It could be referring to the Nato coalition, in which the US is the only country known to be flying strike missions.

These are the list of strikes as reported by Khaama Press:

- A strike hit in Helmand's Musala Qala district killed three Taliban fighters

- A strike killed one Taliban fighter in Helmand's Nahr-e Saraj district

- A strike in Uruzgan's Tarin Kot killed two Taliban fighters

- A strike in Qarghah’i district of Laghman province killed a Taliban fighter

- A strike near the district centre of Deh Yak in Ghanzni province destroyed a vehicle-borne IED

We have recorded these strikes here as possible US strikes. We have also recorded them as taking place on January 8 as this is when they were reported by Khaama Press.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strikes
  • Location: Across Afghanistan
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1003 link

6 January 2019

  • 11 reported killed

Eleven Taliban fighters were killed in US strikes in Qara Gholi and Geldi villages in Faryab's Almar district, the New York Times reported. A Taliban commander was also among those killed.

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. They confirmed that that the sourcing met our methodological standards.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Qara Gholi and Geldi villages, Almar district, Faryab province
  • References: The New York Times

AFG1002 link

6 January 2019

  • 14-19 reported killed, including 4-5 civilians killed

The New York Times reported that five civilians were killed in US drone strikes that hit the house of a Taliban commander. Ten Taliban fighters were also killed in the strikes.

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. They confirmed that that the sourcing met our methodological standards.

This confirmed the reports of civilian casualties from a local resident. Ihsan Makhdoum told Anadolu Agenecy that he lost his father and three relatives in the attack.

Afghan Army Spokesperson Mohamed Hanif Rezai said the strike hit a Taliban camp, killing 14 insurgents.

The strike occurred in Qorghan district, the NYT reported. Anadolu spelt this as Kurgan district.

AFG1001Ci link

5 January 2019

  • 2 reported killed

A Taliban shadow district chief was killed in a strike in Faryab province, according to a statement released by a division of the Afghan army and reported on by Khaama Press.

The strike occurred at around 3.30pm local time and targeted two motorcycles.

The chief was identified as Mullah Hayatullah. His security guard is believed to have also been killed. Hayatullah was described as the Taliban chief for Pashtunkot district.

It was not clear whether the strike was carried out by US or Afghan forces so it will be recorded here as a possible US strike.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Zurmat district, Paktia province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG1001C link

4 January 2019

  • Friendly fire incident

Six police officers were killed or injured in US strike in Uruzgan, a security official told Pajhwok News.

The strike reportedly hit a security checkpoint at 5am local time.

There was some confusion in the reporting, with Pajhwok claiming the six had been injured but also reporting that all six had been killed.

Their source wished to remain anonymous. This means the sourcing is too vague for us to record this as a confirmed US strike as yet. We will reached out to Resolute Support for more information.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Shah Mansour locality, Tarinkot, Uruzgan province
  • References: Pajhwok