continues to churn out propaganda that touts the training of elite military
units, even as the US seeks to negotiate its exit from Afghanistan. In the latest
release, the Taliban showcased what is called its “Quick Assault Team,” which
is part of its special forces.
training videos are often mocked, including by the spokesman for Resolute
Support and US Forces – Afghanistan, the graduates from these camps have been
effective at battling Afghan security forces. Taliban units have defeated
Afghan National Army Commandos and Special Forces in multiple battles over the
past several years.
published 32 photographs of the Quick Assault Team in various stages of
training. The photographs were released on Voice of Jihad’s Pashto language
website on Aug. 20. Voice of Jihad is the official website of the Taliban.
photograph (above) the Taliban fighters were shown wearing T-shirts emblazoned
with the logo of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name of the Taliban’s
government in waiting, with the words “Quick Assault Team” and “Special Forces”
fighters were outfitted with new uniforms, boots, and gear, and their weapons
appear to be well-maintained. More than two dozen fighters were present in the
location of the camp was not disclosed. The camp is called the Salahuddin Ayubi
Military Camp, according to Zabihullah Muhajid, an official Taliban spokesman.
If it is located in Afghanistan, its existence further highlights the
deteriorating security situation in the country – with the Taliban operating in
the open and unafraid of retaliation from US forces by air or ground. If it is
in Pakistan, then it underscores that country’s unwavering support for the
has promoted the training of its so-called special forces in the past. In Jan.
2019, the Taliban released images from its Mahmud Ghaznawi Military Camp, which
it said trains its “Commando Mujahidin.” In Nov. 2017, it advertised the
existence of its “Special Forces Unit.” In June 2015, a series of photographs
purporting to show the Taliban’s “special forces” circulated on Twitter.
the Taliban controls 66 of Afghanistan 407 districts and contests 192 more,
according to an ongoing study by FDD’s Long War Journal. The Taliban’s special
forces often lead the charge to take these districts.
existence of Taliban Special Forces has been acknowledged by both the US
military and Afghan intelligence. Known as the Red Unit, Red Group, or Danger
Group, it is the Taliban’s version of Special Forces. The Red Unit operates
throughout Afghanistan and is often at the tip of the spear of assaults on
district centers, military bases, and outposts. The Red Unit operates more like
shock troops rather than traditional Western Special Forces.
Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies and the
Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.
Source: The Long War Journal