Taliban operations span the entire country, Afghan Interior Ministry confirms

The Taliban are operating in all regions of Afghanistan and casualties among Afghan police have increased, according to the Ministry of Interior (MoI). The MoI statements confirms reporting by FDD’s Long War Journal and contradicts a recent press briefing by General John Nicholson, the outgoing commander of Resolute Support and US Forces- Afghanistan.

The Taliban has launched “military offensives on multiple fronts across the country” and security forces “are tackling insurgents as part of their preplanned operations in at least 14 provinces,” TOLONews reported based on statements made by the spokesman for the MoI.

“This year the activities of the enemy has increased compared to previous years. The number of our operations also indicates that this year the number of casualties unfortunately has also increased,” MoI spokesman Najib Danish said, according to TOLONews.

TOLONews claims that its sources within the Interior Ministry state that “currently on average 50 members of the security forces are being killed and wounded each day.”

Danish’s statement that the Taliban are operating in all areas of the country confirms a mid-May report by published by FDD’s Long War Journal. In that report, LWJ determined that the Taliban has targeted Afghan government forces in nearly all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, as the military focuses on the Taliban threat in Helmand and Kandahar. Additionally, LWJ reported, based on statements from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense, that the Taliban directly threaten seven provincial capitals.

Additionally, the MoI’s confirmation that the Taliban is on the offensive is backed by data compiled by LWJ on the status of Afghanistan’s districts. Currently the Taliban controls or contests 60 percent of Afghanistan’s 407 districts.

These statements directly contradict the highly optimistic assessment of the situation in Afghanistan given by Nicholson, as well as statements by Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White, who has described the Taliban as “desperate,” and said it “has lost ground” and “has not had the initiative.”

For more information, see the following LWJ reports:

Taliban’s 2018 offensive encompasses all regions of Afghanistan

Afghan military identifies 7 provincial capitals ‘under pressure’

‘Desperate’ Taliban ‘has lost ground,’ Pentagon spokesperson wrongly claims

Pentagon spokesperson doubles down on ‘desperate’ Taliban comment

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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