11.01.17 Drone Warfare

Afghanistan: Reported US air and drone strikes 2017

The timeline below contains information on all US air attacks on Afghanistan recorded by the Bureau in 2017. 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 2017
Strikes recorded by the Bureau
Total reported strikes 239
Total reported killed 219-359
Civilians reported killed 18
Children reported killed 0-8
Total reported injured 31-50

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 will be 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 2017
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties with at least one weapon release 71
Total CAS sorties 524
Total weapons released 254

Strikes

Afghan Air Force strike link

23 April 2017

  • 10 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence announced that a series of air strikes in Zabul province killed at least ten alleged members of different armed groups, according to Qatar News Agency. The strikes, reported on April 23, were carried out in the previous 24 hours in Shahjoi district, it said.

Afghan forces also reportedly destroyed a vehicle and five motorcycles in the strike.

  • Type of strike: AAF strike
  • Location: Shahjoi district, Zabul province
  • References: QNA

AFG333Ciii link

22 April 2017

  • 28 reported killed

Two air strikes killed at least 28 alleged members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State, according to unnamed local officials. One hit a compound leaving nine dead, while a similar strike left 19 dead.

The strikes reportedly took place in Achin and Haska Mina districts at some point in the 24 hours prior to them being reported by Khaama Press on April 22.  

The strikes were part of the Hamza operation, it said, which seems to be an operation launched by Afghan special forces to rid certain areas in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State. This could mean that the strikes were conducted by Afghan forces. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Achin and Haska Mina districts, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike link

20 April 2017

  • 4 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence reportedly said that four alleged insurgents were killed in an air strike conducted by an A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. The aircraft is used by the Afghan Air Force to strike targets. The strike destroyed their hideout and a DShK heavy machine gun, the ministry said. 

A date was not given for the strike, but Khaama Press reported it on April 20. 

  • Type of strike: AAF strike
  • Location: Tarin Kot city, Uruzgan province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG333Cii link

19 April 2017

  • 5 reported killed

At least five members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed in an air strike in Nangarhar province, according to a statement from the provincial government media office reported in Khaama Press. The strike reportedly took place at 10am local time. 

It was not clear whether the strike had been conducted by US or Afghan forces. The date of the strike was also not clear but Khaama Press published the information on April 19. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Taktakani area, Nazian district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG333Ci link

19 April 2017

  • 3 reported killed

Three alleged members of al Qaeda were killed in an air strike in Zabul province, the Afghan Ministry of Defence was reported saying in Khaama Press.

It was not clear whether the strike had been conducted by US or Afghan forces. The date of the strike was also not clear but Khaama Press published the information on April 19. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Audaki village, Tarang district, Zabul province 
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG333C link

17 April 2017

In a report covering an Afghan operation in Nawa district, an unnamed border police official said Taliban insurgents had brought two armoured vehicles to help them in the fighting. 

These were destroyed in an air strike conducted by "Afghan and Nato forces", the official said. It was not clear what was meant by "Afghan and Nato forces". A date was not given for the strike, but it was reported by Pajhwok on April 17. The sourcing was also vague, so this strike will not be added to our database as yet. 

The Pajhwok report first covered an operation in Marja district of Helmand province. The above strike was said to have been conducted in "nearby" Nawa district. There is a Nawa district in Ghazni province, but there is also a Nawa i Barakzayi district in Helmand province. The report is likely referring to the latter, as the spokesperson for the provincial governor, who was quoted on the Nawa operation, was Omar Zwak, reportedly the Helmand governor's spokesperson.  

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Nawa district 
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG333 link

17 April 2017

  • 9-16 reported killed

Qari Tayeb was reported killed in a strike, alongside 16 other alleged fighters, in a vaguely sourced report which did not specify whether the strike had been conducted by US or Afghan forces. Tayeb was identified as the Taliban's shadow governor for Takhar province.

His death was confirmed by US Forces - Afghanistan in a press release two days later. The strike, it said, hit a compound owned by Tayib and used for insurgents in the area, adding that eight additional Taliban fighters were killed. 

The press release said Tayib had been a "target-of-interest" since 2011 and was "directly responsible for the deaths of US service members in Afghanistan".

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Archi district, Kunduz province 
  • References: Khaama Press, US Forces - Afghanistan via email 

AFG332 link

15 April 2017

  • 0-2 reported killed

An attempt by two alleged suicide bombers to attack the headquarters of Achin district was thwarted by a US drone strike, Police Spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal told Pajhwok. The attackers, supposedly members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State, were both killed, he said. 

Security sources told the Wall Street Journal that two of the group's fighters had attempted to attack the government’s district headquarters with a car bomb, but a US air strike intercepted the vehicle. It did not say whether the strike killed the two men. 

The police official did not give a date for the strike but gave Pajhwok the information on April 16. The Wall Street Journal said the strike occurred on April 15. 

AFG331 link

13 April 2017

  • 36-100 reported killed

The US announced that it had conducted a strike on a "ISIS-K tunnel complex"  in Nangarhar province at 7.32pm local time on April 13. 

The US military used a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB), the largest conventional (non-nuclear) bomb it has ever deployed in combat. It is often referred to as the "mother of all bombs". 

An MC-130 aircraft, stationed in Afghanistan and operated by Air Force Special Operations Command, dropped the GBU-43 bomb, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told CNN. According to a US press release published in 2008, the bomb is a "21,600 pound, GPS-guided munition" that, on its final day of testing on March 11 2003, created a huge mushroom cloud that could be seen from 20 miles away. 

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the strike targeted a "a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters use to move around freely". "As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," General John W. Nicholson was quoted in a US press release saying. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K." 

Ahmad Jawid Salim, a spokesman for the Afghan army commandos, told the New York Times that progress had stalled in the Tangi Assadkhel area of the district, the location the bomb was reportedly dropped. The BBC reported the Afghan defence ministry saying the bomb struck a village area in the Momand valley. 

General Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence, said that initial information showed that 36 fighters had been killed. According to Ismail Shinwari, the Achin district governor, security forces recovered 92 bodies, none of which were civilians. Mohammad Radmanesh, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan ministry of defence, said 100 bodies were recovered from the tunnels after the strike. Pajhwok spoke to a security official who named 13 alleged Islamic State commanders reportedly killed. The official said 13 of the total number of fighters killed were from India. 

A US military spokesperson said they did not believe there were any civilian casualties as a result of the strike. Captain William Salvin told the Bureau: "We have had persistent surveillance for an extended period of time and we have not observed civilians in the area."

According to the New York Times, residents said the blast was felt tens of miles away. Reuters were told by residents from a village about three miles from the location of the strike that the ground shook, but homes and shops appeared unaffected. One resident was reported saying: "Last night's bomb was really huge, when it dropped, everywhere, it was shaking," but he added that he believed no civilians were in the area targeted.

According to the BBC, Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah said the attack was carried out in co-ordination with the Afghan government. The Wall Street Journal reported that a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence said the ministry didn’t know about the bomb strike. 

US President Donald Trump would not directly answer a question on whether he personally signed off on the strike. When asked, he said: "Everybody knows exactly what happens. So, what I do is I authorize our military." Sources told CNN that General John Nicholson signed off on the use of the bomb and the White House was informed of the plan prior to the strike. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also declined to say whether Trump specifically authorised the strike. 

Hamid Karzai on Twitter

I vehemently and in strongest words condemn the dropping of the latest weapon, the largest non-nuclear #bomb, on Afghanistan by US...1/2

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Afghan Air Force strike link

12 April 2017

  • 7 reported killed

Afghan forces conducted an air strike which killed seven Taliban insurgents, according to a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Defence reported in Khaama Press. 

A date was not given for the strike, but it was reported in Khaama Press on April 12. 

  • Type of strike: AAF strike
  • Location: Alisheng district, Laghman province
  • References: Khaama Press 

Afghan Air Force strike link

11 April 2017

  • 49 reported killed

Pajhwok reported that 49 members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic state had been killed in air strikes. Police Spokesperson Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal told the news site that security forces conducted the strikes as part of an operation, known as "Hamza", in some areas of Achin district on the night of April 11. 

TOLO News reported the launch of "Hamza" on April 10, which it said was a ten day operation to rid certain areas in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State and had been launched by Afghan Special Forces in cooperation with US troops. 

  • Type of strike: AAF strike 
  • Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Pajhwok, TOLO News

AFG330Ci link

11 April 2017

  • 1 reported killed

A message was sent to the family of an alleged Indian recruit of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State informing them of his death, supposedly as a result of a drone strike. 

The Times of India said WhatsApp messages were sent on April 12 and 13 to the father of Murshid Mohammed, the alleged recruit, by someone claiming to be his wife saying Mohammed had died on April 11. A security official told the Hindustani Times that the messages were sent via messaging service, Telegram. 

Murshid Mohammed, from Kerala, is believed to have joined the group in June 2016. It is thought he was located in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province and married after arriving in Afghanistan. 

No further details were given, including whether others had been killed in the alleged strike. 

AFG330C link

9 April 2017

At least three al Qaeda members were killed in an air strike in Paktika province, according to Afghan Ministry of Defence Spokesperson Dawlat Waziri. He announced two other strikes at the same time, one in Nangarhar which he said killed eight fighters associated with Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State and a second strike in Kunduz which he said killed eight Taliban members. 

None of these could be confirmed as it was not clear whether the three strikes had been conducted by US or Afghan forces. The date they were carried out was also not given, but Waziri's comments were reported by Khaama Press on April 9. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strikes
  • Location: Multiple provinces 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG330 link

9 April 2017

  • 6 reported killed

A "notorious" Taliban commander was one of six alleged insurgents killed in a drone strike in Maidan Wardak province, Abdul Rahman Mangal, the local governor's spokesperson, told Pajhwok. 

Mangal identified the commander as "Bashir", who he said was the Taliban’s chief commander for Maidan Wardak province. An unnamed security official said Bashir had been active in the provincial capital and three districts in the province.

The US is the only country known to be operating armed drones in Afghanistan. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Narkh district, Maidan Wardak province
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG329CVII link

7 April 2017

Taliban’s deputy governor for Kunduz province, named as Mullah Asadullah, was killed alongside 13 other alleged fighters in an air strike at noon on April 7, the province's police chief told Pajhwok. It was not clear whether Afghan or US forces had conducted the strike but it reportedly hit Mullah Qawi area of Dasht e Archi district, Kunduz province. 

Two days later, TOLO News reported General Sayed Qurban Musawi, a commander of an Afghan military unit, saying that the deputy shadow governor of the Taliban had been killed in a US drone strike, also in Dasht e Archi district. He named the deceased as Asadullah Mazloomyar. 

This could be the same man named by Pajhwok. Both TOLO News and Pajhwok reported a Taliban deputy governor had been killed, but the latter specifies the deceased held the position in Kunduz. It could be that TOLO missed out the detail. The Afghan general also says the strike took place on April 8 and killed 12 alleged fighters, which contradicts the earlier reporting. 

Due to the confusion surrounding the strike, we cannot confirm it as having been conducted by US forces and include it in our strike tally as yet.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Dasht e Archi district, Kunduz province
  • References: TOLO NewsIBTimesPajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike link

7 April 2017

  • 6 reported killed

Two commanders of the Haqqani Network were killed in an Afghan Air Force strike in Ghazni province, according to the province's police chief, Aminullah Amarkhail. He identified the commanders as Mawlawi Rashed and Mawlawi Mohammad Gul Nafiz, and said they died along with four other members of the group. 

The strike hit "insurgent hideouts" in Parch village of Gero district on the evening on April 8, Amarkhail said. A vehicle full of weapons was also targeted in the strike, he added.

A Ministry of Interior statement reported in Khaama Press announced the death of the same two senior Haqqani leaders, but said the strike hit on April 7. Four others were also killed and a vehicle and weapons were destroyed, the statement added. They however did not specify that Afghan forces conducted the strike.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Parch area, Gero district
  • References: TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG329CVI link

6 April 2017

  • 20-25 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence said at least twenty alleged insurgents were killed and a vehicle packed with explosives destroyed in an airstrike in the vicinity of Tarin Kot city in Uruzgan province, according to Khaama Press. While the body of the report said at least 20 alleged insurgents had been killed, the headline stated the figure was 25.  

It was not clear whether Afghan or US forces conducted the strike. It was also not clear when the strike happened, although it was reported on April 6.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG329CV link

3 April 2017

  • 16 reported killed

Khaama Press reported the "police commandment" saying US strikes in Nangarhar province left 16 alleged fighters dead, including a local leader of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State identified as "Farooq". 

The source said the strikes hit Tangi area, which they said was located in Abdul Khel in Achin district. A date was not given for the strikes, but they were reported in Khaama Press on April 3. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Abdul Khel, Achin district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG329CIV link

31 March 2017

  • 10 reported killed
  • 12 reported injured

At least ten alleged insurgents were killed in an air strike in Uruzgan province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD).

A further 12 alleged insurgents were wounded, according to the MoD, and two vehicles and a motorcycle were destroyed. 

The information was published in Khaama Press on March 31, but it was not clear on what day the strike took place. It was also not clear if the strike was carried out by Afghan or US forces. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG329Ciii link

29 March 2017

  • 4 reported killed
  • 4 reported injured

US forces conducted an air strike in Nangarhar province killing four alleged prominent Taliban members, according to a statement from the "provincial police commandment". 

The statement said the shadow district chief of the group for Khogyani district, Zakir, also known as Adal, was killed with three other senior commanders.

The three commanders were identified as Gul Mohammad (known as Haji Barakat), Usman and Gharawal.

A further four alleged fighters were injured in the strike, the statement said. 

The sourcing is too vague to confirm this as a US strike and include it in our strike tally as yet. 

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

AFG329Cii link

29 March 2017

  • 4-22 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence said at least four Taliban commanders were killed in air strikes conducted in Lashkargah city, according to Khaama Press. 

The headline claimed the four were among 22 fighters killed in airstrikes in Lashkargah but there was no further reference to this figure. 

Six others were injured, and two vehicles, eight motorcycles and five hideouts were destroyed, according to the MoD.

It was not clear whether the US or Afghan forces conducted the strikes. The MoD said the strikes, which were reported by Khaama Press on March 29, had been conducted in the past 24 hours.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Ainak area, Lashkargah, Helmand province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG329Ci link

29 March 2017

  • 3 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that at least three suspected members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed in air strikes.

The Khaama Press report on the MoD's announcement was however unclear, claiming the three alleged fighters were killed by Afghan security forces but also adding that they were unsure whether US or Afghan forces carried out the attack.

It was also unclear from the reporting whether the attack was a singular strike or a series of strikes. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Achin District, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press 

Afghan Air Force strike link

27 March 2017

  • 16 reported killed
  • 9 reported wounded

An air strike conducted by Afghan forces killed 16 Taliban members and wounded a further nine, according to Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, a spokesperson for the 215 Maiwand Corps. 

The strike targeted a group of Taliban members in Nad Ali district in Helmand province who were supposedly planning attacks against security forces. 

The date of the strike was not clear, but the official's comments were reported by Kuwait News Agency on March 27. 

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Nad Ali district, Helmand province
  • References: Kuwait News Agency

AFG329C link

27 March 2017

  • 21 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence reported that a strike killed 21 alleged fighters, including two Taliban commanders, in Nahr e Saraj district of Helmand province.

The commanders were identified as Mullah Toryalai and Mullah Ahmad, also known as Zabiullah. 

It was not clear from the Khaama Press article, which reported the MoD's statement, whether the strikes were carried out by Afghan or US forces. 

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

Afghan Air Force strike link

26 March 2017

  • 33 reported killed

An Afghan Air Force air strike killed 33 members of Afghanistan branch of Islamic State in Kot district, Nangarhar province, according to a Afghan Ministry of Interior statement reported in TOLO News. 

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: TOLO News

Afghan Air Force strike link

25 March 2017

  • 27 reported killed

Air strikes conducted by the Afghan Air Force hit three villages - Chenar Keli, Sahiban and Mullah Badur - in Nangarhar province, according to a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Interior reported by TOLO News. 

The strikes killed 27 alleged members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State. 

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Nangarhar province 
  • References: TOLO News

Afghan Air Force strike link

20 March 2017

  • 1 reported killed

An air strike conducted by the Afghan Air Force hit the hideout of a prominent Taliban leader in Laghman province, the provincial government said in a statement reported by Khaama Press. 

The Taliban leader was identified as Nikmal. The total number of people killed in the attack had not yet been determined, the statement said. 

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike 
  • Location: Gul Aram, Aligner district, Laghman province 
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG329 link

19 March 2017

  • 4 reported killed

The Pentagon confirmed the death of Qari Yasin, also known as Ustad Aslam, in a US strike. The counter-terrorism strike took place on March 19 in Afghanistan's Paktika province. Yasin was reportedly involved in several attacks across Pakistan, including the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. 

The US described Yasin as a "well-known al Qaeda terrorist leader" from Pakistan's Balochistan with ties to the Pakistan Taliban (TTP). The Pentagon statement, released on March 25, said that he had plotted multiple al Qaeda terror attacks, such as the bombing of Islamabad's Marriott Hotel in 2008 which killed an estimated 50 people, including two US servicemen.

Sources told The Express Tribune that Yasin was also involved in the attacks on the offices of Pakistan's main intelligence agency in Lahore and Multan, an attack on the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the targeting of the Data Durbar shrine. Geo News said he was behind attacks on Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada and former President Pervez Musharraf. 

The Pentagon statement confirmed reports of his death coming from local news outlets, including Samaa, The Express Tribune, Geo News and Dawn. They reported a drone strike took place in Barmal district in Paktika province and killed Yasin and a further three "accomplices".  Geo News said it took place on that evening. Dawn later reported the US launched two missiles at a car in Laman area of Barmal, killing an al Qaeda commander, a Taliban trainer and two other fighters. They identified Yasin as one of the dead, and also Ameen Shah Mahsud, described as belonging to the Pakistan Taliban (TTP). 

Samaa News said Yasin had been affiliated with several terrorist organisations including the Pakistan Taliban (TTP), Lashkar e Jhangvi and al Qaeda. Express Tribune said he was reportedly a facilitator for al Qaeda and Jundullah attacks in Pakistan. Jundullah in Pakistan is a militant group believed to be closely associated with the TTP. However, Reuters reported the group pledged support for Islamic State in November 2014. VOA said Yasin had a bounty of about $48,000 on his head. He was from Pakistan's Punjab province, according to VOA, with the Express Tribune saying he was from Lodhran district in that area. 

Yasin's death was later confirmed by two militant groups. Ali bin Sufyan, a spokesperson for Lashkar e Jhangvi Al Alami, confirmed Yasin's death to VOA, adding that the group had carried out a "revenge" attack against Pakistan's military in the restive Pakistani region of Balochistan. Al Alami was described as an offspring of the Lashkar e Jhangvi organisation. 

The TTP also confirmed his death in a statement attributed to Mohammad Khurasani, the group's spokesman. According to FDD's Long War Journal, Khurasani refers to Yasin as the mastermind of the plan and attack on the Pakistani Army’s general headquarters (GHQ) and describes him “as one of the greatest trainers of explosives and electronics in the fields of jihad”. Khurasani confirms, according to LWJ, that Yasin was one of the "closest companions" of Shaheed Amjad Farooqi, who was behind two assassination attempts against Musharraf in December 2003. 

A US military spokesman told the Bureau that US forces had conducted a strike in Paktika province on March 19 but as it was conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, he was unable to comment further. 

Death of Qari Yasin announced in tweet from supposed TTP twitter account

AFG328 link

19 March 2017

  • Unknown reported killed

A US spokesperson told the Bureau that US forces conducted 20 strikes in Nangarhar province on March 19. The circumstances around the strikes are not known. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Nangarhar province 
  • References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG327 link

18 March 2017

  • 2 reported killed

Two commanders of the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) were killed in a US drone attack on a moving car in Paktika province, according to unnamed sources reported in Dawn. 

The strike hit in Narr area at 4pm local time on March 17, the sources said. They identified the commanders as Haroon Shuikhel Wazir and Azmat Mahsud. It is not clear what district Narr area is located in.

However, AP reported Mohammad Rahman Ayaz, a spokesperson for the provincial governor, saying two insurgent commanders were hit in a drone strike while they were travelling in a vehicle on March 18 in Barmal district. This is a day after the Dawn sources said the strike took place, and also the day before another strike reportedly took place, also in Barmal. 

According to FDD's Long War Journal, the TTP claimed a US drone strike on March 18 on “Pak-Afghan border” killed senior commander Yusuf Wazir, although they did not make it clear on what side of the border it hit. Wazir was reportedly from Pakistan’s tribal agency of North Waziristan and according to a graphic the group tweeted, he came from a family involved in militant activities. His father and brother were both killed in drone strikes, according to the TTP, with the father killed in 2008 and the brother killed four months ago, while another brother died battling the Pakistan military. 

A US spokesperson told the Bureau that US forces had not conducted a strike on March 17 in Paktika but had conducted two on March 18.

Graphic tweeted by supposed TTP twitter account

AFG326Ci link

18 March 2017

  • 10 reported killed

At least ten Taliban insurgents were killed in an air strike conducted in Paktia province, according to Zalmai Weesa, the provincial governor’s spokesman. Weesa said they were targeted in Nari Kama village.

Local government officials told Khaama Press that the strike was carried out late in the afternoon on March 18 in Dand e Patan district. Another official said equipment used to control IEDs was destroyed, alongside a "biometric system". 

It is not clear whether the strike was conducted by Afghan or US forces, so we are unable to add it to our strike tally as yet. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Nari Kama village, Dand e Patan district, Paktia province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG326C link

18 March 2017

  • 19 reported killed
  • 22 reported injured

At least 19 fighters were killed and a further 22 were injured in an air strike conducted in Baghran e Markazi district in Baghran province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence. 

The MoD statement as reported in Khaama Press did not say whether the strike was conducted by Afghan or US forces. It was also not clear what date the strike took place on, but Khaama Press reported the information on March 18. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Baghran e Markazi district, Baghran province
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG326 link

18 March 2017

  • Unknown reported killed

A US spokesperson told the Bureau that US forces conducted 12 strikes in Nangarhar province on March 18. The circumstances around the strikes are not known. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Nangarhar province 
  • References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG325Ciii link

16 March 2017

  • 36 reported killed
  • 8 reported injured

The Afghan Ministry of Defence said at least 36 Taliban insurgents were killed and eight injured in air strikes conducted in the vicinity of Nad Ali district, Helmand province. 

Two Taliban leaders killed in the strikes were identified as Mullah Esmat, also known as Sur Gul, and Sefat, with both reported as belonging to the same family. 

It is not clear whether the strikes were conducted by Afghan or US forces. It was also not clear when the strikes took place, but they were reported by Khaama Press on March 16. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Nad Ali district, Helmand province
  • References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike link

14 March 2017

  • 10 reported killed

An air strike conducted in Paktika province by Afghan forces killed a top commander of Haqqani Network, alongside nine other members, according to the Afghan Ministry of Interior reported in Khaama Press. 

The air strike took place in Dara-e-Shinki village in Zeruk district, the ministry said, and also destroyed two vehicles and ammunition.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Dara-e-Shinki village, Zeruk district, Paktika province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG325Cii link

14 March 2017

  • 17 reported killed

A "provincial police commandment" statement said at least seventeen members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State had been killed in a series of air strikes in Nangarhar province. 

At least four strikes were reportedly carried out in the vicinity of Pekh and Mamand Dara areas in Achin district.

The statement was reported in Khaama Press, but while the news site's headline reported these as US strikes, the subsequent parts of the statement published did not. The sourcing was also vague, which means we cannot record this as a confirmed US strike. Another series of air strikes was reported in the same province on March 11. These also could not be confirmed. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location Pekh and Mamand Dara areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press 

Afghan Air Force strike link

14 March 2017

  • 10 reported killed

Two strikes were conducted by Afghan forces in two provinces in Afghanistan, according to a Ministry of Interior statement reported by TOLO News.

One of the strikes reportedly killed eight alleged members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State in Jawargar village in Achin district, Nangarhar province.

A second strike was reported to have killed two alleged armed Taliban members in Yatimak village in Chahar Dara district, Kunduz province. 

Khaama Press also reported a Ministry of Interior statement, which announced a strike in Paktika province taking place on the same day.  

  • Type of strike: AAF strike
  • Location: Nangarhar and Kunduz
  • References: TOLO News 

AFG325Ci link

13 March 2017

  • 10-29 reported killed
  • 0-13 civilians reported killed
  • 2 reported wounded

Confusing reporting surfaced regarding a possible US strike in Paktika province.

Mohammad Rahman Ayaz, the provincial governor’s spokesman, told Khaama Press that a strike conducted by an "unmanned aerial vehicle", or drone, hit the funeral of Taliban leader Kerat Khan and killed at least twenty fighters. Three commanders were killed, he said, identifying two as Afghan Waziristani and Hazifa.

Khaama Press reported local officials saying the strike hit Zeruk district. The headline of the report stated that 29 people had been killed, but this figure was not mentioned again in the body of the report. 

Pajhwok reported the "governor's office", which may refer to the same source as Khaama Press, giving a similar account, adding the strike hit in the afternoon on March 13 in Tangi area of Zeruk district. However the office put the number of alleged fighters killed at 29. Pahjwok said the fighters were attending the funeral of Kiramat Khan, a slightly different spelling of the name given by Khaama Press, who they said was killed during infighting between rival Taliban factions. 

Colonel Dadullah Khan, the deputy police chief, told Pajhwok that ten fighters were killed, including commander Sarhadi Bilal, and two others were wounded in the strike. Pajhwok also reported the Afghan Ministry of Interior claiming ten fighters from Haqqani Network had been killed, including a commander, in a Special Forces air strike in the Shinkai Dara locality of Zeruk district. 

Said Aziz Ullah, a provincial council member, told the Bureau that Taliban fighters attacked the home of a tribal elder in Dara area of Urgun district, but faced resistance from local villagers and a Taliban commander was killed. Ullah said the Taliban sent reinforcements but the additional fighters travelling to Dara in four pick-up trucks were hit by drone strikes and were all killed. This may have taken place on May 12, but it is not clear. He said he did not know how many civilians were killed during clashes with the Taliban.

However, the Taliban reportedly claimed a US strike was conducted in Urgun district, also in Paktika province, and hit a funeral ceremony, killing 13 civilians and injuring several others.

Captain William Salvin told the Bureau the US had conducted one strike in Paktika on March 13, but said there were no civilian casualties. Salvin said it was counter-terrorim strike, which targets either al Qaeda or Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • Location: Paktika province
  • References: Khaama PressPajhwok, Bureau reporting 

AFG325C link

13 March 2017

  • 24 reported killed
  • 7 reported wounded

Twenty-four insurgents, including a commander, were killed and three others wounded during "joint air raids" in Helmand province, according to Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, the spokesperson for a regional unit in the Afghan army. 

The strikes hit Loymand and Bolan areas near Lashkargah, the provincial capital, and Nad Ali district on the night of March 13, he said. The "joint force" recaptured a number of areas in the centre of Lashkargah city and Nad Ali district, Zazai added.

A security official told Pajhwok Taliban commander Asmatullah and his brother had been killed in the strikes. Pajwok described Asmatullah as the "Taliban-designated mayor for Lashkargah and the military in-charge in Greshk district". His death was confirmed by Omar Zwak, the provincial governor’s spokesman, who added that the Taliban suffered heavy casualties, with four Afghan security personnel also being injured. 

It is not clear what is meant by "joint air raids". The term could be referring to an Afghan ground operation with US air support. However, the lack of clarity means we cannot confirm the strikes and include them in our strike tally as yet. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Helmand province
  • References: Pajhwok 

AFG325 link

13 March 2017

  • 3 reported killed

The police chief of Ghazni province, Brigadier General Aminullah Amarkhel, said a US drone strike killed a suspected Taliban car bomber and two motorcyclists in Raasni area of Ghazni province's Gilan district.

The police chief added that the men had planned to carry out suicide attacks in the city of Ghazni but were killed before reaching their targets. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Raasni area, Gilan district, Ghazni province
  • References: Pajhwok 

AFG324Ci link

11 March 2017

  • 16 reported killed

At least sixteen members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed in a series of US air strikes on March 11 in Nangarhar province, according to a "provincial police commandment" statement reported in Khaama Press.

The air strikes reportedly began at 10.30am local time in Nazian district, with another strike hitting at 3pm local time, although it is not clear from the reporting whether this also hit Nazian district. Khaama Press said the last strike hit on the night of March 10 after drones targeted fighters in Sepai and Bandok areas of Kot district. It was not clear where the last strike took place. 

The provincial police commandment said the total number of dead was sixteen, including seven nationals of Pakistan, with at least nine of the dead killed in Kot district. Khaama Press also reported local security officials saying all those killed were from Pakistan, although it is not clear whether they were referring to the strikes in Nazian or all strikes. 

The sourcing for this strike is too vague to confirm it and add it to our strike tally as yet. 

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

AFG324C link

10 March 2017

  • 3 reported killed
  • 3 reported wounded

At least three members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed and three others wounded in a US drone strike conducted late on March 10, according to a "provincial police commandment" statement reported in Khaama Press. 

The sourcing is too vague to confirm this strike and include it in our strike tally as yet.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Momand Dara area, Achin district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG324 link

9 March 2017

  • 20 reported killed

At least twenty Taliban fighters were killed in an airstrike conducted by "foreign forces" in Kandahar province, local officials said. 

Only the US, and the Afghans, fly strike missions in the country.

The officials were reported in Khaama Press saying the fighters had been planning to launch an attack on Nish district.

Provincial Police Spokesperson Zia Durani confirmed the strike, adding that it was carried out in Lam area, located between the districts of Nish and Khakriz.

The date of the strike was not clear but it was reported by Khaama Press on March 9.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Lam area, between Nish and Khakriz district, Kandahar province 
  • References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike link

9 March 2017

  • 4 reported killed
  • 1 reported wounded

An Afghan Air Force strike in the vicinity of Nish district killed four alleged fighters and wounded one other, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD). 

The date of the strike was not clear but it was reported by Khaama Press on March 9.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Nish district, Kandahar province
  • References: Khaama Press 

Afghan Air Force strike link

4 March 2017

  • 15 reported killed
  • 3 reported injured

At least three Taliban commanders were killed in an air strike conducted by the Afghan Air Force in Kunduz province, according to Ministry of Interior statement.

The statement identified the three commanders as Qari Mazlum, Qari Hejran, and Farooqi, adding that a further twelve Taliban insurgents were killed, three were wounded, and five vehicles and some weapons were also destroyed.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Imam Sahib district, Helmand province
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG323Ci link

3 March 2017

  • 8-12 civilians reported killed, including 4-9 children
  • 20-22 civilians reported injured

An attack on March 3 in Farah province reportedly killed a number of civilians, but the circumstances around their deaths remains unclear. 

Salima, a 30-year-old mother of four, spoke to AP. She said two of her children had been killed and one other wounded in what she described as a helicopter attack. Local news outlet Pajhwok spoke to Ahmad Shah, 45, who had been injured in the attack and he corroborated Salima's accounts of a helicopter attack.

Shah, who seemed to be part of a mass migration of families from Pushrod district displaced by fighting, said that women disembarked, presumably from a vehicle, to show they were civilians after two helicopters arrived when they reached Jar Akhund area. He said 12 civilians were killed and 21 others wounded in the attack.

Helicopters are used by both Afghan forces and US forces operating in Afghanistan. A US spokesperson however told the Bureau that US Forces did not conduct any strikes in Farah Province on March 3. 

Deputy Governor Mohammad Younus Rasouli was reported by Pajhwok saying that four children had been killed and five others wounded in air strikes, but he would not say whether Afghan or US forces had conducted the strikes. He did say security forces had been engaged in an offensive over the past three days in the area and the Taliban had used civilians as human shields. 

Hospital sources said that nine civilians were killed and more than 20 others wounded in air strikes in Bala Baluk district, according to Pajhwok. Obaidullah, the nursing department head, reportedly said seven girls and two boys were among the fatalities. A doctor told AP that 22 people had been wounded in the attack, with three in a critical condition.

AP reported Afghan officials saying at least eight Afghan civilians, including four children, were killed in an attack late night on March 3 in Farah province. Mohammad Naser Mehri, spokesman for the provincial governor, said these deaths were however the result of a roadside bomb in Bala Buluk district.

An Afghan defence ministry spokesman said an investigation was underway.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Bala Buluk district, Farah province
  • References: AP, Pajhwok, US Resolute Support via email

AFG323C link

1 March 2017

  • 20 reported killed

Afghanistan's Ministry of Defence said 20 Taliban insurgents were killed when a strike hit their training camp in Helmand, according to Khaama Press. A cache of drugs was reportedly destroyed.

It was not clear if the strike had been conducted by Afghan or US forces. The date of the strike was also not clear but it was reported on March 1. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Khanshin district, Helmand province 
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG323 link

1 March 2017

  • 6 reported killed
  • 1 reported injured

A Taliban commander was killed alongside five other fighters in a US drone strike, according to Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, the police spokesman for Nangarhar province. One fighter was reportedly injured. 

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, identified the commander as Ilyas. Pajhwok said he was a commander of the "Junaid Khurasan outfit", while Khaama Press described him as a "key Taliban commander".

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Chaknoro area, Lalpura district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press 

AFG322 link

28 February 2017

The US conducted 161 strikes in Afghanistan in February, according to figures given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson. The Bureau had recorded 43 strikes for this month. The remaining strikes were added to the database.

The data did not include casualty estimates but it was broken down into types of strikes. Captain William Salvin informed the Bureau that 123 strikes were conducted under June rules giving US troops greater freedom to target the Taliban. A further 38 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, targeting either al Qaeda or Afghanistan’s branch of Isis.

Interestingly, there were no strikes conducted under force protection rules, which allow the US to take out threats to international as well as Afghan troops who are “in extremis”. 

The Bureau asked Captain Salvin about strikes in Sangin over February 9 and 10, which Resolute Support said had been conducted in support and to defend Afghan troops in an earlier email. He said the air support provided to Afghan Forces came under the strategic effects authorities, with one of the authorities included under strategic effects being the "protection/defence of US or friendly forces".

  • Location: Afghanistan
  • References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG321 link

27 February 2017

  • 2 reported killed
  • 3 reported injured

A US drone strike killed a Taliban commander and one other fighter, alongside wounding at least three others,  according to Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal, the police spokesman for Nangarhar province. 

He said the fighters were targeted in Sangini area, Chaparhar district late February 27. 

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

AFG320 link

26 February 2017

  • 5-9 reported killed

A senior Taliban commander was killed in a US drone strike in Kunduz, Taliban and Afghan officials have confirmed. 

Mullah Abdul Salam Akhund was the Taliban governor for Kunduz, according to IANS. Reuters said he commanded Taliban forces in Kunduz and had overseen the Taliban offensive that briefly seized Kunduz city in 2015.  

A Taliban official told Reuters that Akhund was killed alongside two others in a drone strike. Provincial Governor Assadullah Omarkhil also said two other Taliban members had been killed, according to Xinhua, but was quoted by Pajhwok saying three others had died. He was quoted in Asharq al-Aswat saying five others died in a strike on a house. However, Sher Aziz Kamawal, a senior police commander in northern Afghanistan, was reported by Reuters saying that eight Taliban members were killed. Khaama Press said that another senior leader identified as Qari Amin, reportedly the Taliban district chief, was also killed in the strike.

"He was on a journey a few days ago and stopped at a house at Dashte Archi town when the drone fired missiles," an unnamed Taliban official told Reuters, adding that the strike hit over the weekend. Omarkhil was reported by Pajhwok saying that the drone strike hit Amar Malooq locality in Dashti Archi district around 3:20pm local time on February 26. 

Some of the reporting referenced differing accounts of what happened. Pajhwok reported that earlier the administrative chief for Dashti Archi district said he had been wounded in a suicide attack and evacuated to Tajikistan with Russia’s support. Khaama Press said while some officials are reporting Akhund died in a US strike, others are saying he was killed in an operation conducted by the Afghan forces. 

Akhund has been declared dead by Afghan officials on a number of other occasions, such as in October 2015 when the Afghan intelligence reported he had been killed in an air strike. However, unlike in that occasion, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed Akhund's death in a statement.

A US military spokesman told Reuters said that an America warplane had conducted a strike in Kunduz on February 26, but did "not have confirmation of the results". However, they confirmed his death on February 28 in a press release, which said that four other "enemy combatants" were killed alongside Salam.

General John Nicholson, commander of US Forces - Afghanistan, was quoted in the release saying: “Mullah Salam and the Taliban fighters under him murdered and terrorized the people of Kunduz for too long.” He added: “Salam’s death is an opportunity for change. The people of Afghanistan want peace and the Government of Afghanistan is committed to achieving peace through reconciliation. The Taliban know the only path forward is reconciliation.”

AFG319Ci link

25 February 2017

  • 1 reported killed

A missing youth from the Indian state of Kerala thought to have joined Isis in Afghanistan has reportedly been killed in a US drone strike. 

Indian news outlets reported that relatives of Hafeezuddin, the suspected Isis recruit, received a message via Telegram, a messaging service, informing them of his death. The message was sent by Ashfaq, another relative who is also believed to have joined the group in Afghanistan.

Asia Times reported Ashfaq saying the strike took place in Nangarhar province, an area where the group has managed to establish a foothold. 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Kerala state police are yet to confirm the death of Hafeezuddin.

AFG319C link

25 February 2017

  • 8 reported killed

At least eight members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed in two separate air strikes hitting different areas in Achin district of Nangarhar province, according to unnamed local security officials. 

The strikes reportedly hit Dap and Momand areas of Achin district on February 25 and 26.

It was unclear whether the strikes had been conducted by US or Afghan forces. The officials mentioned that those killed were all foreign nationals. One of these strikes could have been the strike that is believed to have killed an alleged Islamic State recruit from Kerala detailed above. 

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • Location: Dap and Momand areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG319 link

23 February 2017

  • 11 reported killed

At least eleven Taliban insurgents were killed in an air strike carried out by "foreign forces" , according to a statement from the Helmand province government reported by Khaama Press. 

The US is the only country, aside from Afghanistan, flying strike missions.

The statement said that at least two Taliban leaders were killed in the strike which targeted an insurgent "gathering". They were identified as Zaheen and Ghazni and reportedly belonged to "Kochian Mahaz" brigade. 

A date was not given for the strike but the statement was reported on February 23. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Umomi Bagh area, Garamser district, Helmand province
  • References: Khaama Press 

AFG318 link

20 February 2017

  • 12 reported killed

A US drone strike killed 12 members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State late on February 20, according to Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, Nangarhar province's police spokesman.

An unnamed official told Khaama Press that the strike hit the group while they were travelling in a vehicle in Bandar area. Local officials told the news site the fighters were all foreign nationals. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok 

AFG317 link

19 February 2017

  • 1 reported killed
  • 2 reported injured

A key Taliban commander was killed in a drone strike in Ghazni province, Liaqat Ali Amini, an Afghan army spokesperson, told Xinhua.

The Taliban commander was identified as Qari Salim, also known as Sabawon, and was killed in a strike on a "rebel hideout", Amini said. He added that the strike injured two of Salim's bodyguards. 

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Nawa district, Ghazni province
  • References: IANS, Xinhua 

Pakistan strikes link

17 February 2017

  • 2 civilians reported killed

Tensions heightened between Pakistan and Afghanistan following reported Pakistani military strikes or shelling on Afghan soil. The strikes followed a deadly attack on a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's Sindh province on February 16. The Pakistan Army reportedly said it had information that those behind the attack in Sindh were from neighbouring Afghanistan. Strikes were launched the next night, according to military sources quoted by Geo TV. Times of India said a "media report" indicated four camps of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group were targeted across the border from Pakistan's Khyber and Mohmand tribal agencies. Provincial Police Spokesman Faridullah Dehqan told Khaama Press that two civilians were killed in shelling in Kunar Province.


AFG316Ci link

14 February 2017

  • 20 reported killed

Dost Mohammad Nayab, the Uruzgan governor's spokesperson, said that several airstrikes hit the province, adding that the strikes were conducted by both Afghan forces and the "foreign".

It is not clear whether to attribute the strikes to Afghan or US forces. A date for the strikes was also not given but they were reported on February 14.

Local officials said the strikes hit in the vicinity of Tarin Kot.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • LocationTarin Kot, Uruzgan province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG316 link

11 February 2017

  • Unknown reported killed

When questioned about the strikes in Sangin, Brig Gen Charles H Cleveland said the US conducted approximately 30 “air-to-ground” attacks in Sangin district last week. It is not clear how many of these were part of the attack that killed 18 civilians. The remaining 28 strikes not recorded by the Bureau have been added into the database in a single entry under February 11, the date the New York Times reported Cleveland's comments.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strikes 
  • Location: Sangin district, Helmand province 
  • References: New York Times

AFG316C link

11 February 2017

  • 5 reported killed

A senior Taliban leader was killed with four of his fighters in Paktika, according to the provincial government media office. A statement from the office identified the leader as Pach, also known as Faryadi, and described him as the shadow district chief of Barmal.

Unnamed local government officials said the strike was conducted by "foreign forces" but the sourcing is too vague to confirm this as a US strike as yet.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Mangarti area, Barmal district, Paktika province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG315 link

9 February 2017

  • 18-68 reported killed
  • 18 civilians reported killed, including an unknown number of children
  • 0-20 reported injured

At least 18 civilians, most of them women and children, were killed in a series of US airstrikes on February 9 and 10 in Sangin district, in the southern province of Helmand, according to the UN Mission in Afghanistan (Unama).

Afghan forces have struggled to keep the Taliban at bay in Helmand. The situation in Sangin district was particularly bad. The US were forced to launch around 30 air attacks in the week leading up to February 10 or risk losing the district capital.

News of possible civilian deaths first emerged on Twitter within hours of the strikes. The Nato mission, Resolute Support, posted a tweet acknowledging it had received allegations of civilian casualties from US air attacks.

A spokesperson told the Bureau it had “no evidence” that civilians had died but it was investigating Taliban claims of civilian harm. The spokesperson said: “We do not believe that there were any civilians killed or wounded as a result of our strike.”

Resolute Support opened “a formal review to determine the credibility of the claims,” according to Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, the missions deputy-chief of staff for communications. The investigation team involved Nato officers from outside the US command to ensure impartiality, Cleveland said.

Resolute Support were unable to draw any conclusions from their initial investigations, a spokesperson told the Bureau. Investigators had been unable to “link the locations and times of our strikes with the locations where we think civilian casualties occurred”. Both the Taliban and Afghan were using indirect and direct fire, he said. Adding: “At this time, we are unable to confirm whether the civilian casualties were caused by the Taliban, the Afghan Army or our air strikes.”

Resolute Support on Twitter

RS statement

The Bureau tried to piece together the sequence of events. One Bureau reporter contacted Hamid Gul, 18, who said he lost nine members of his family, including his mother, six brothers, one sister and a two-year-old niece. The family home in the village of Mata Lakar was "leveled to the ground" in the attack, he said. Gul had been in the city of Lashkarga, where he works, at the time. 

Gul denies the presence of Taliban fighters in the village, which he says is not under the control of the Taliban or the Afghan government. The fighting was taking place in the district centre, some distance from Mata Lakar, Gul said.

List of victims in Hamid Gul's family as given by him
Name Age
Bibi Rahmania (Hamid Gul's niece) 2 years
Naz Bibi (Hamid Gul's sister) 5 years
Muhammad Wais (Hamid Gul's brother) 6 years
Sultan Aziz (Hamid Gul's brother) 7 years
Rozi Gul (Hamid Gul's brother) 10 years
Sultan Wali (Hamid Gul's brother) 12 years
Habib Gul (Hamid Gul's brother) 14 years
Sayeed Wali (Hamid Gul's brother) 16 years
Bibi Bakhtawara (Hamid Gul's mother) 50 years

The village of Chinari was also attacked on the same night, with the house of local resident Fida Muhammad hit. Fida’s son Habib Rahman says both his mother and father were killed, alongside his stepmother, four brothers aged between nine and 20 years of age and four sisters aged between six and 18 years of age, a sister-in-law and a niece. The house was hit at 1am local time, he said. While the Taliban were in control of Chinari, Rahman says they did not have any kind of base there. He believes only two or three of the twenty families living in the village have remained, with the others fleeing in fear after the attack.

Sardar Muhammad, a former police official in Helmand province, lists a further two strikes aside from the ones hitting Mata Lakar and Chinari. An area called Shakar Shala was targeted, he says, killing 10 alleged insurgents and no civilians. A fourth strike hit a building belonging to his family but used by the Taliban near the Sangindistrict bazaar. 

Sardar says that all four locations were under the control of the Taliban. A Taliban safe house next to Hamid Gul's house was targeted causing rooms in the Gul house to collapse, he says, and the Taliban had entered Fida Muhammed's house to take refuge when it was targeted. Seven Taliban fighters were killed in Mata Lakar and five Taliban were killed and nine others wounded in Chinari, alongside civilian deaths, he said.

Hayatullah Hayat, the governor of Helmand province, said that civilian casualties occurred in three places, including Mata Lakar and Chinari. This contradicts his earlier claims that only 50 insurgents were killed. Hayat says Fida Muhammed’s house in Chinari was next to a Taliban base and when this was bombed, his house collapsed. In Mata Lakar, the Taliban were using the village as a base and training centre, firing at the Afghan forces from that area, he said. The third location was close to Sangin military base and insurgents digging a tunnel to target nearby security forces were struck. They ran towards a house, Hayat said, which was then hit killing four civilians and wounding five others.

News reports differed on casualty figures. A Taliban propaganda site said that 30 civilians had been "hurt" in the attack, 25 of which were killed. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported tribal elders saying that at least 19 civilians were killed and 20 others injured, with one tribal elder claiming US strikes hit a house in Chinari village, killing ten members of the family including women and children. 

Karim Atal, the Helmand provincial council chairman, visited a hospital treating the wounded and said that there were both civilian and insurgent casualties. He said the attacks hit civilian homes, with one family losing nine members and another losing five. A resident of Sangin told Reuters that his brother's house had been hit in the strike, killing 11 people. Another resident, Haji Ahmand, told the Guardian that his brother's house was also hit, with the attack taking place at about 2am. 

AFG314 link

8 February 2017

  • 11 reported killed
  • 6 reported injured

Two senior commanders of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed in "NATO drone strikes", according to Mohammad Hussain Mashraqiwal, a spokesperson for the Nangarhar province police chief. He identified the commanders as Mohammed Omar Sadiq and Omar Farooq.

The strikes reportedly killed a further nine alleged militants and injured six others. Khaama Press reported that the two commanders were killed in Pekhar Khor area of Achin district, while the others were killed in Nari Oba area of Haska Mina district but the sourcing was vague.

A US military spokesperson confirmed to AP that forces had conducted counter-terrorism strikes in Nangarhar province on February 8 but did not provide any additional details.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Pekhar Khor area, Achin district and Nari Oba area, Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
  • References: AP, Khaama Press 

AFG311Ci link

6 February 2017

  • 1 reported killed

A Taliban member was killed in an air strike, according to the provincial police commandment, but it was not clear if the Afghan Air Force or US forces conducted the strike.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • Location: Behmaro area, Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG311Cii link

6 February 2017

  • 2 reported killed
  • 3 reported injured

A series of US air strikes on February 6 killed at least two members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State and injured three others, according to the "provincial police commandment". The sourcing is too vague to confirm the strike and add it to the strike tally as yet.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • Location: Charzoi and Nari Obo areas, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike link

6 February 2017

  • 11 reported killed
  • 12 reported killed

Gul Islam Siyal, the governor of Zabul province's spokesperson, said that Afghan forces hit "militant hideouts" in a strike in the night.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike 
  • Location: Khak-e-Afghan, Zabul province 
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG312 link

6 February 2017

  • 6 reported killed

Six Taliban members were killed in US air strike, according to the Helmand government media office. A statement reportedly released by the media office said a local Taliban leader, identified as Mawlavi Najeeb or "Madad", was among the dead.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Kharko area, Garamser district, Helmand province 
  • ReferencesKhaama Press

AFG313 link

6 February 2017

  • 2 reported killed
  • 3 reported injured

Two members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed and three others wounded in a drone strike, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the Nangarhar governor's spokesperson.

The strike was reported on February 8 but Khogyani made the comments on February 7, according to Khaama Press. The reporting says the strike hit "last night" which is most likely referring to the night before the comments were made.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Char Wazi area, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG311C link

4 February 2017

  • 1 reported killed

A member of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State was killed in a drone strike conducted "by the foreign forces", according to the provincial police commandment. The sourcing is too vague to record this as a confirmed US strike as yet. A date for the strike was also not given but it was reported on February 4.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • Location: Haska Mena, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG311 link

3 February 2017

  • 21 reported killed
  • 6 reported injured

At least 21 members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State were killed and six others wounded in US drone strikes in Haska Mina and Achin district, according to Major Sher Aqa Faqeri, a spokesperson for 201st Selab Military Corps.

The strikes were reported alongside an overnight clash and it was not clear if the strikes took place at the same time.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strikes
  • Location: Haska Mina and Achin district, Nangarhar province 
  • References: Kuwait News AgencyPajhwok

AFG310C link

2 February 2017

  • 4 reported killed
  • 3 reported injured

Khaama Press reported that five members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State had been killed and five others wounded in two separate US drone strikes.

The first strike, which hit Gorgori area of Haska Mena district at 9am local time, killed four fighters and wounded a further three, according to the provincial police commandment.

The second was reportedly the strike that killed Shahid Omar which is recorded in the entry above. The first strikes sourcing is too vague to confirm as yet.

AFG309 link

1 February 2017

  • 2-12 reported killed

A senior leader of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State was killed in a morning strike, according to Ataullah Khogyani, the Nangarhar governor's spokesman. Local officials said the strike was conducted by a drone and carried out by "foreign forces". They identified the leader as Shahid Omar. Khogyani said Omar was in command of at least 40 members of the group.

A later news report said that Qari Munib, described as a "top leader" of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State, was one of 12 militants killed in Achin, which included Omar. They had been killed in a series of airstrikes, it said. It was not clear if they had all been killed in strikes conducted by US forces.

Munib's death was however later confirmed by the US, who said he “was killed during a larger Afghan and U.S. counterterrorism operation focused on ... eastern Afghanistan" in a Pentagon statement issued on February 8 and reported by VOA. The Pentagon said Munib played a "key role" in two suicide attacks on the capital which took the lives of a combined total of nearly 100 people. One of the attacks hit Nepalese security guards at the Canadian Embassy in June 2016 while the second targeted a Hazara protest march in July. The Afghan government said Munib “was involved in large-scale atrocities against our people in Nangarhar’s Achin district and several other areas”, according to VOA.

An archived ISAF press release shows that Qari Munib, then described as a Taliban leader, was reported killed by an "Afghan and coalition security force" in November 2012.

AFG310 link

1 February 2017

  • 4-6 reported killed

Two Pakistani media outlets reported a drone strike on February 2 in Afghanistan's Khost province, hitting close to its border with Pakistan.

They differed on who was killed. Dawn reported sources saying Mullah Akhtar Rasool, the leader of an Afghan Taliban faction, was killed when a drone hit a vehicle with two missiles in the Ali Sher area. This falls in Tere Zayi district. Five Afghan Taliban members were killed, it said.

The Express Tribune said that Mullah Muhammad Rasool's nephew and son-in-law were killed. However the reporting around the strike was unclear with a police spokesperson reportedly saying that Mullah Akhtar Rasool and four others were in car heading towards their hideout when they were targeted. The car was completely destroyed, the spokesperson said. It also said that six Taliban members were killed.

Both media outlets said the claims had not been independently verified.

Mullah Muhammad Rasool and Mullah Akhtar Rasool appear to be the same person, but Baaghi TV says Mullah Akhtar is Muhammad Rasool's nephew.

Captain William Salvin confirmed US Forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike in Khost province but said it took place on February 1. General Faizullah Ghairt, the police chief of Khost province, confirmed to Xinhua that a strike took place on the night of February 1 and an unnamed source told the media outlet that four members of the Haqqani Network had been killed in it.

A Bureau reporter spoke to various people to find out more details on the strike. A tribal elder who claimed to know those hit in the strike said they were all from Sabarai district and affiliated to Haqqani Network. The district governor for Sabarai suggested they were high ranking Taliban but did not know exactly what group they belonged to. Ghairt told our reporter that four commanders in Haqqani Network were killed. He rejected the claims Mullah Rasool or people connected to him were killed in the strike.

AFG307 link

31 January 2017

  • Unknown reported killed

A US military spokesman told VOA on January 31 that approximately ten air strikes had been carried out in the past 24 hours in and around Sangin.

The strikes were conducted to assist Afghan troops holding off a Taliban assault on Sangin, a key district centre in Helmand province.

“These strikes targeted Taliban fighting positions. We will continue to aggressively support our Afghan partners as they defend Sangin from the Taliban,” the spokesman said in a written statement given to VOA.

Mujib Mashal on Twitter

Taliban attack on Sangin district cent in Helmand: US carried out airstrikes overnight, afghan reinforcements on way. CE Abdullah in Helmand

  • Type of strike: Air or drone strikes 
  • Location: Sangin, Helmand province 
  • References: VOA

AFG308 link

31 January 2017

  • Unknown reported killed

The US conducted 36 strikes in Afghanistan in January, according to figures given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson.

The Bureau recorded 15 strikes for the month. The remaining 21 strikes have been added to the Bureau's database and included in the strike tally.

The data, released on February 2, did not include casualty estimates but was broken down into types of strikes. The spokesperson said that 20 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities and 15 strikes were conducted under rules passed in June giving US troops greater leeway to target the Taliban.

One strike was conducted using force protection rules that allow the US to take out threats to international forces as well as Afghan troops who are “in extremis”.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strikes 
  • Location: Unknown
  • References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG306 link

28 January 2017

  • 7 reported killed

Xinhua reported Shir Aqa Faqiri, an army spokesperson, saying that seven alleged members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State had been killed in a drone strike, including "two judges of the terrorist group".

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Nangarhar province 
  • References: Xinhua

AFG305 link

27 January 2017

  • 7 reported killed

A drone attack killed two members of Afghanistan's branch of Islamic State and five members of Lashkar e Islam, a Pakistani terrorist group, according to Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, a Nangarhar police spokesperson.

It targeted the positions of the fighters in Bandar area in Achin district on the night of January 27.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike 
  • Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province 
  • Reference: Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike link

24 January 2017

  • 14 reported wounded

An airstrike conducted by Afghan forces came to light when an investigation was launched into reports of civilian injuries. The Afghan National Army has rejected the claims.

However the Uruzgan Governor Mohammad Nazir Kharotai said he visited the clinic treating the victims. He reportedly received a call from the presidential palace ordering an investigation and said a delegation would be appointed.

It is not clear when the strike took place but it was within a few days of the investigation being launched which was reported on January 24.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Akhtar village, Chora district, Uruzgan province
  • References: Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike link

23 January 2017

  • 31 reported killed
  • 19 reported wounded

Gul Islam Seyal, the governor’s spokesman for Zabul province, said that airstrikes killed 31 alleged Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. The strikes were conducted as part of the Afghan operation known as “Shafaq-2”.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Khak-i-Afghan district, Zabul province
  • References: Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike link

22 January 2017

  • 21 reported killed
  • 7 reported injured

An Afghan Air Force strike killed 21 members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State in Zabul province, according to the “provincial police commandment”. A further seven were injured, including an alleged commander of the group.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
  • Location: Zabul province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG304 link

20 January 2017

  • 4- 6 reported killed

A vaguely sourced news report said that four members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State were killed in a US drone strike. Two of the members were reportedly from Pakistan and the other two were from Tajikistan.

The strike was later confirmed by Attaullah Khogyani. He reported that the strike hit Bandr Khor area of Achin district in Nangarhar province. In a different report, Khogyani said that the strike had killed six members of the group, four of which were not from Afghanistan.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Bandr Khor area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Pajhwok

AFG303C link

20 January 2017

  • 3 reported killed

The “provincial police commandment” said a US air strike killed three members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State. It hit late in the afternoon.

The sourcing is too vague to confirm the strike and add it to the database as yet.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Jawargar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG303 link

14 January 2017

  • 15 reported killed
  • 10 reported injured

Several top Taliban leaders were reportedly killed in a US strike in Helmand province, the “provincial government media office” said in a statement.

It reported a total of 25 alleged fighters killed or wounded in the strike, adding that at least 15 had been killed, including some Taliban leaders “loyal to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence”.

Pajhwok reproduced a list of the Taliban members believed to have been killed and their alleged titles published by what it described as the “governor’s house of Helmand province”.

Name Alleged Taliban position
Mullah Tahir Financial manager
Haji Nasir Recruitment head
Haji Khadam Military unit director
Haji Rohani Shadow district chief for Nehr-i-Siraj
Mullah Sadiq Agha Head of military unit for Kandahar province
Haji Khalid Deputy governor for Uruzgan province

Four vehicles, 18 PK heavy machine guns, three mortars, four SPG-9 rocket launchers and 25 AK-47 assaults rifles were reportedly destroyed in the attack.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Musa Qala district, Helmand province
  • References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike link

12 January 2017

  • 12 reported killed

Afghan air strikes reportedly killed 12 alleged fighters including Mualvi Attiqullah, a Taliban commander, in Garamser district, Helmand province. Ayub Omar Omari, the district chief, told Pajhwok News that the strikes hit the Gimak and Kharki areas of the district. He attributed the strikes to the Afghan Air Force.

  • Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strikes
  • Location: Gimak and Kharki areas, Garamser district, Helmand province
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG302 link

10 January 2017

  • 4 reported killed

Four people were killed in a US drone strike on a car in the evening of January 10, according to Zar Moeed Mukhlis, “administrative chief” in the town of Aziz Kala.

The four were said to be members of the Haqqani Network, two of them commanders in the terrorist syndicate. The commanders, Nazar Janand Rohullah, were killed in the strike, Mukhlis said. They were “a bomb planter and in charge of the group’s weapons supply”, according to Pajhwok News though it was not clear which role was attributed to which of the men.

An unidentified local corroborated the strike hit a vehicle near Aziz Kala though did not have any information about casualties, Pajhwok reported.

  • Type of strike: US air or drone strike
  • Location: Aziz Kala town, Sabri district, Khost province
  • References: Pajhwok

AFG301C link

2 January 2017

  • 10 reported killed

According to Khaama Press, the “provincial police commandment” said a US drone strike killed at least ten members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State.

The date of the strike was not mentioned in the reporting. The sourcing is also too vague to confirm this as a US strike as yet.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike 
  • Location: Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
  • References: Khaama Press

AFG301Ci link

2 January 2017

  • 21 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior reported 21 alleged Taliban members had been killed in multiple air strikes in Logar province.

Specific dates for the strikes were not given but the information was reported by Khaama Press on January 2.

It is not clear whether Afghan or US forces conducted the strikes.

  • Type of strike: Possible US strike
  • Location: Logar province
  • ReferencesKhaama Press