Taliban parades forces in Logar province

As the Afghan government continues to attempt to get the Taliban to negotiate a settlement to the decades old war in Afghanistan, the Taliban continues to flex its muscle in provinces outside of Kabul. In Logar province, a large Taliban convoy paraded through a town unopposed by Afghan and Coalition forces.

A large convoy of Taliban vehicles, including dozens of new Toyota Fielder station wagons, moved through the town before stopping at a building and dropping off Ahmad Ali Jan Ahmad, the shadow governor for Logar province. The Taliban convoy slowly paraded through the town during broad daylight with Taliban flags prominently displayed.

FDD’s Long War Journal cannot verify the validity of the video, however it bears the watermark of Al Emarah Studio, an official media arm of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The video was retweeted by Zabihullah Mujahid, an official spokesman for the Taliban. The Taliban has released similar videos in the past which have proven to be accurate.

The exact location of the town could not be determined, however it appears the video was shot in either Charkh or Baraki Barak districts. Charkh is one of three Taliban-controlled districts in Logar. Three other districts, including Baraki Barak, are contested. Baraki Barak borders Sayedabad district, a Taliban hotbed in neighboring Wardak province. Only one district, Khoshi, is under government control. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Mapping Taliban Control in Afghanistan.]

The video also shows several heavily armed Taliban fighters, some who are carrying U.S. made M4 and M16 assault rifles. Several of the Taliban fighters appear to be members of the Taliban’s Red Unit, the trained cadre that carry out special operations missions for the Taliban. These fighters are wearing a distinctive red headband that is seen in training videos for the Red Unit.

In Aug. 2020, the Taliban released images of its fighters operating in Logar as well as in the nearby provinces of Ghazni and Laghman.

The Taliban continues its military campaign to seize control of Afghanistan even as it participated in intra-Afghan talks in Doha, Qatar. The Taliban continues to use suicide bombers in its campaign, without objection from the U.S. government. On Oct. 5, a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 30 more in an attack that targeted the governor of Laghman in Mehtarlam, the provincial capital.

The Taliban refuses to agree to a ceasefire while engaging in negotiations. It also refuses to directly negotiate with the Afghan government, which it views as an “Un-Islamic” “puppet” of the United States. The Taliban maintains that it rejects the Afghan constitution and elections, both which it views as un-Islamic, and says it will not share power with the Afghan government. Instead, it demands an “Islamic government,” which it uses interchangeably with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and that government must be led by its emir, Mullah Habitullah Akhundzada.

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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