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 1614
Total reported killed 44-805
Civilian reported killed 22-80
Children reported killed 11-25
Total reported injured 13-142
US Air Force reported air operations, Afghanistan 2019
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties with at least one weapon release 289
Total CAS sorties 1188
Total weapons released 790

Strikes Page 7

AFG1506C link

22 March 2019

  • 6 reported killed
  • 3 reported wounded

An airstrike in Balkh province killed six "militants" and wounded three others, Khaama Press reported.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Defence, it stated that the airstrike was conducted in Balkh's Chimtal district.

They stated that the airstrikes had happened during the last 24 hours, but it is unclear whether they were on 21 or 22, so we have recorded it as the date that Khaama Press reported on it.

It is unclear whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack, so we are unable to record it in our database of confirmed US strikes.

In their monthly release of airstrike data, US Forces - Afghanistan did not report any strikes in Balkh province on or around March 22.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Chimtal district, Balkh province
  • Reference: Khaama Press

AFG1506 link

21 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Three 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.

AFG1505 link

21 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Kunduz 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.

AFG1504 link

21 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Kapisa 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.

AFG1503 link

21 March 2019

  • 0-9 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of a strike in Helmand on this day. Khaama Press reported that an airstrike in Sangin killed nine Taliban fighters.

It was not clear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1502 link

20 March 2019

  • 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.

AFG1501 link

20 March 2019

  • 0-3 reported killed

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

There had been reports of strikes in Nangarhar on this day. Khaama Press reported that an airstrike killed three fighters from Afghanistan's branch of the Islamic State.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan military said in a statement that the fighters were targeted in the Pekha Valley of the Achin district.

It was unclear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the strike.

AFG1500 link

20 March 2019

  • 0-3 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Logar on this day. Khaama Press reported that an airstrike in central Logar province killed three Taliban fighters.

Their "informed military sources" stated that one of the fighters was key group member, Abu Zar, who was reportedly known to be involved in planning high-profile attacks.

It was not clear from Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the strike.

They also did not provide a specific date for this strike so we cannot be certain that it corresponds to the strike in the USAF data. However this was reported on the day after the strike in the data.

AFG1499 link

20 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Kapisa 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.

AFG1498 link

20 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One 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.

AFG1497 link

19 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One strike 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.

AFG1496 link

19 March 2019

  • 0-11 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of a strike in Ghazni on this day. Khaama Press reported that two airstrikes in Andar district killed 11 Taliban fighters and destroyed one staging unit, according to their "informed military sources".

It was unclear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support of Afghan forces were responsible for the strike.

AFG1495 link

18 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Three 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.

AFG1494 link

18 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Ghazni 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.

AFG1493Ci link

18 March 2019

  • 2 reported killed

An airstrike in Achin district, eastern Nangarhar province, killed two fighters from Afghanistan's branch of the Islamic State, Khaama Press reported.

A statement from the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan military said that the two fighters were killed in "coalition drone strikes".

Khaama Press is likely referring to the Nato coalition, in which the US is the only country known to be flying strike missions.

We are unable to record this in our database of confirmed US strikes due to vague sourcing.

In their monthly release of airstrike data, US Forces - Afghanistan did not report any strikes in Nangarhar province on March 18.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Achin district, eastern Nangarhar province
  • Reference: Khaama Press

AFG1493C link

18 March 2019

  • 2 reported killed

An airstrike in Khoshi district, Khost, killed two Taliban fighters, Khaama Press reported.

Khaama Press' information came from "informed military sources" who stated that the airstrike had happened during the last 24 hours. It is unclear when this strike occurred, so we have recorded it as the date that Khaama Press reported on it.

It is unclear whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack, so we are unable to record it in our database of confirmed US strikes.

In their monthly release of airstrike data, US Forces - Afghanistan did not report any strikes in Khost province on March 18.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Khoshi district, Khost province
  • Reference: Khaama Press

AFG1493 link

17 March 2019

  • 0-16 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Uruzgan on this day. Airstrikes in Helmand province and Uruzgan province killed 16 Taliban fighters and destroyed an operations centre, Khaama Press reported.

Their "informed military sources" said that the 16 fighters were killed in the strikes in Helmand's Kajai district and Uruzgan's Tarin Kot City - though they did not appear to specify how many died in each strike.

We have recorded a 0-16 casualty range in both the Helmand and Uruzgan entries to highlight the confusion over how many were killed in each strike. In the database we have only recorded it in one entry so not to skew the numbers. The Helmand strike is below as AFG1475.

AFG1492 link

17 March 2019

  • 0-12 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Nangarhar on this day.

Airstrikes in Nangahar killed seven Taliban fighters and five fighters from Afghanistan's branch of the Islamic State, Khaama Press reported.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan military said that Kateeb Ur Rehman, a commander of Afghanistan's branch of the Islamic State, was killed in a strike along with four others.

Khaama Press did give a date for this strike, so we have recorded it as the date that Khamma Press reported on.

Two fighters from Afghanistan's branch of the Islamic State were also killed in an airstrike in Khogyani two days prior to this report. Although Khaama Press had already reported on that strike, it may be the same incident with an updated death toll. The other strike is recorded below as AFG1469.

In a separate report, Khaama Press reported details of the strike on the Taliban fighters on this day. Both were in Khogyani, but it is not clear whether the groups were targeted in separate strikes.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan military reportedly said in a statement that Afghan Special Forces called in air support after coming under fire during an operation against the Taliban.

The seven Taliban fighters that were killed were thought to be involved in the planning and coordination of local suicide attacks and roadside bombings.

It was unclear in Khaama Press' reports whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the strikes.

AFG1491 link

17 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One 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.

AFG1490 link

17 March 2019

  • 0-16 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Uruzgan on this day. Airstrikes in Helmand province and Uruzgan province killed 16 Taliban fighters and destroyed an operations centre, Khaama Press reported.

Their sources further noted that a structure being used as a Taliban operations centre in Helmand's Sangin district was destroyed.

Their "informed military sources" said that the 16 fighters were killed in the strikes in Helmand's Kajai district and Uruzgan's Tarin Kot City - though they did not appear to specify how many died in each strike.

We have recorded a 0-16 casualty range in both the Helmand and Uruzgan entries to highlight the confusion over how many were killed in each strike. In the database we have only recorded it in one entry so not to skew the numbers. The Uruzgan strike is above as AFG1478.


AFG1489 link

16 March 2019

  • 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.

AFG1488 link

16 March 2019

  • 0-8 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Kunduz on this day. Khaama Press reported that two airstrikes killed eight Taliban fighters in the province.

Afghan Special Forces were reportedly conducting a multi-day ground operation in the Chahar district when the coordinated airstrikes took place.

It was unclear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1487 link

16 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Ghazni 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.

AFG1486 link

15 March 2019

  • 0-3 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Wardak on that day. Khaama Press reported that airstrikes in Sayyidabad and Sheikhabad districts of Wardak province killed up to three Taliban fighters.

The strike was reportedly conducted in coordination with a special forces operation, so it is therefore unknown whether the fighters were killed in the ground operation or the airstrike.

Khaama Press' information came from "informed military sources" who stated that the airstrike had happened during the last 24 hours.

It was unclear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1485 link

15 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Four 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.

AFG1484 link

15 March 2019

  • 0-2 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Nangarhar on this day. Khaama Press reported that two fighters from Afghanistan's branch of the Islamic State were killed in an airstrike in Khogyani.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan military said in a statement that the airstrike was carried out in the late afternoon on Friday 15 in Khogyani district.

It was unclear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1483 link

15 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One 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.

AFG1482 link

15 March 2019

  • 0-9 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of strikes in Uruzgan on this day. Khaama Press reported that precision airstrikes had killed nine Taliban fighters and destroyed one operations centre in Tarin Kot city.

Their "informed military sources" said that after hours of monitoring Taliban activity going in and out of a building that was known to be used for staging attacks against Afghan civilians, the building was taken out by multiple precision airstrikes.

It was unclear from Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1481C link

15 March 2019

  • 12 reported killed

Airstrikes in Paktiya province killed 12 Taliban fighters, Khaama Press reported.

Their "informed military sources" said that the strikes occurred in the Zurmat and Gomal districts of the province.

It was unclear from Khaama Press' report how many fighters were killed in each strike.

They stated that the airstrike had happened during the last 24 hours. It is unclear when this strike occurred, so we have recorded it as the date that Khaama Press reported on it.

It is unclear whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack, so we are unable to record it in our database of confirmed US strikes.

In their monthly release of airstrike data, US Forces - Afghanistan did not report any strikes in Paktiya province on March 15.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Zurmat and Gomal districts, Paktiya province
  • Reference: Khaama Press

AFG1481 link

14 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

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

The strikes destroyed one tactical unit and one building.

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

AFG1480 link

14 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

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

The strikes destroyed one tactical unit and one vehicle.

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

AFG1479 link

14 March 2019

  • 0-11 reported killed

Two strikes hit Kandahar province on this day that destroyed one tactical unit and one defensive fighting position, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

There had been previous reports of strikes in Kandahar on this day. Khaama Press reported that 11 Taliban fighters were killed in an airstrike in the Beghal, Maywand and Khakrez districts.

It was unclear from Khaama Press' report both how many had died in each strike and whether US air support of Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1478 link

14 March 2019

  • 0-15 reported killed

Two strikes hit Helmand province on this day and destroyed one tactical unit, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan.

There had been previous reports of strikes in Helmand on this day. Khaama Press reported that airstrikes in Nahr e Saraj killed nine Taliban fighters and strikes in the Sanjin district killed six Taliban fighters, according to their "informed military sources".

It was unclear from Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack.

AFG1477 link

13 March 2019

  • 5 reported killed
  • 10 reported injured
  • Friendly fire incident

Five Afghan soldiers were killed and 10 more wounded in a friendly fire incident on an Afghan army checkpoint in Uruzgan's Tarin Kot.

Qais Mangal, a spokesperson for the Afghan Defence Ministry, confirmed that the airstrikes occurred after a convoy of Afghan Special Forces and American troops were attacked by another Afghan unit.

The Telegraph reported that a statement from the international military coalition said the forces “attempted to de-escalate the situation but they continued to be fired upon. We are operating in a complex environment where enemy fighters do not wear uniforms and use stolen military vehicles to attack government forces.”

“This is an example of the fog of war,” said Sgt First Class Debra Richardson. “The US conducted a precision self-defense airstrike on people who were firing at a partnered US-Afghan force.”

Karim Karimi, deputy head of the Uruzgan provincial council confirmed that 10 additional soldiers were wounded in the incident.

Mr Karimi told NYT that the fight lasted four hours, until 3am local time, before US airstrikes destroyed the base.

One strike hit Uruzgan province on this day, according to data from US Forces - Afghanistan. According to the data the strike destroyed one tactical unit and one building.


AFG1476 link

13 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

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

The strike destroyed a tactical unit.

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

AFG1475 link

13 March 2019

  • 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.

AFG1474 link

13 March 2019

  • 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.

AFG1473 link

13 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Two strikes hit Kapisa 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.

AFG1472 link

13 March 2019

  • 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.

AFG1471 link

13 March 2019

  • 0-31 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of an airstrike in Ghazni on this day. Khaama Press reported that an airstrike in the Geru district killed 31 al Qaeda fighters, including nine suicide bombers.

A statement from the Ministry of Defence said that the strikes targeted an al Qaeda compound that was led by Qari Arif, in the Geru district of Ghazni.

Several vehicles were also reportedly destroyed in the strikes.

It was unclear in Khaama Press' report whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack. They also did not provide a specific date for this strike so we cannot be certain that it corresponds to the strike in the USAF data.

AFG1470 link

13 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One 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.

AFG1469 link

13 March 2019

  • 0-7 reported killed

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

There had been previous reports of a strike in Balkh around this time. Khaama Press reported that an airstrike in the Chitmal district killed seven Taliban fighters, according to their "informed military sources".

Khaama Press did not specify a date for this strike, but as it was reported on March 14 it is possible that they were referring to the same strike as the USAF data, which occurred the day before.

AFG1468C link

13 March 2019

  • 7 reported killed

An airstrike that struck a convoy of Taliban fighters in northern Kunduz province killed seven fighters, Khaama Press reported.

According to the 209th Shaheen Corps, a part of the Afghan military, the strike was carried out at 12:30am local time in Kunduz's Khanabad district.

Their statement further added that the Taliban commander Mullah Alauddin alias Wasiq was killed along with six of his fighters as they were travelling to Khwajah Pesta.

The convoy was reportedly identified during a surveillance mission.

It is unclear whether US air support or Afghan forces were responsible for the attack, so we are unable to record it in our database of confirmed US strikes.

In their monthly release of airstrike data, US Forces - Afghanistan did not report any strikes in Kunduz province on March 13.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Khanabad district, northern Kunduz province
  • Reference: Khaama Press

AFG1468 link

12 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

Two 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.

AFG1467 link

12 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One 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.

AFG1466 link

12 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One strike hit Kunduz 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.

AFG1465 link

12 March 2019

  • Unknown

One strike hit Kapisa 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.

AFG1464 link

12 March 2019

  • Unknown casualties

One 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.

AFG1463 link

12 March 2019

  • 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.

AFG1462 link

12 March 2019

  • 7 reported killed
  • 0-7 civilians reported killed

Seven Taliban fighters were killed in a US airstrike in Ghazni province, though it is unclear whether civilians were also killed, according to locals.

Arif Noori, a spokesperson for the provincial governor, stated that seven Taliban were killed, including a group leader in a drone strike in Andar district.

However, according to AP, dozens of people brought dead bodies to the governor's office claiming that those killed in the strikes were civilians.

A Resolute Support spokesperson, Sgt 1st Class Debra Richardson, confirmed that the airstrike killed seven Taliban.

Another AP source, Shamsuddin, stated that those killed were civilians and demanded an investigation.

We have included a civilian casualty range to reflect the confusion over civilian status.

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