Skip to comments.Joint al Qaeda and Taliban force behind Kunar base attack ( Attack killed Nine US Soldiers )
Posted on 07/15/2008 12:08:05 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
By July 14, 2008 9:03 PM
Yesterday's deadly complex attack on a joint US and Afghan outpost in Kunar province was carried out by a large, mixed force of Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied extremist groups operating eastern Afghanistan.
Sunday's assault occurred just three days after 45 US soldiers, likely from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 25 Afghan troops established a new combat outpost in the town of Wanat. The troops had little time to learn the lay of the land, establish local contacts, and build an intelligence network. The fortifications were not fully completed, according to initial reports.
A complex attack
The assault was carried out in the early morning of July 13 after the extremist forces, numbering between 200 and 500 fighters, took over a neighboring village. "What they [the Taliban] did was they moved into an adjacent village - which was close to the combat outpost - they basically expelled the villagers and used their houses to attack us," an anonymous senior Afghan defense ministry official told Al Jazeera. Tribesmen in the town stayed behind "and helped the insurgents during the fight," General Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief, told The Associated Press.
The Taliban force then conducted a complex attack, coordinating a ground assault with supporting fires. Approximately 100 enemy fighters were reported to have moved close to the base while under a heavy barrage of machinegun fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars. The fighters advanced on the outpost from three sides.
Taliban fighters breached the outer perimeter of the outpost but were repelled. US troops called in artillery, helicopter, and air support to help beat back the attacking force. Casualties were heavy on both sides, with nine US soldiers and 40 Taliban fighters killed during the assault. Fifteen US and four Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the attack.
An extremist alliance
The assault on the Wanat outpost was conducted by an alliance of extremist groups operating in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to reports. A senior Afghan defense official told Al Jazeera that "various anti-government factions including Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Hezb-i-Islami faction were involved" in the strike.
Tamim Nuristani, who served as governor of Nuristan before President Hamid Karzai relieve him of his post for criticizing a US airstrike that is thought to have killed Afghan civilians, said Taliban and Pakistani groups banded together for the attack. "The (attackers) were not only from Nuristan but from other districts," Nuristani said.
"They are not only Taliban. They were (Pakistan-based) Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hezb-i-Islami, Taliban and those people who are dissatisfied with the (Karzai) government after these recent incidents," Nuristani said, intimating the attack was revenge for the US airstrike. "They all came together for this one."
Kunar hosts a major infiltration route and a witches' brew of extremist
Activity in Kunar province has been particularly fierce over the past year. According to an Afghan security report obtained by The Long War Journal, Kunar suffered 963 attacks in 2007, making it the second most active province for insurgents, after Kandahar. The data for 2008 shows the same trend, with Kunar behind only Kandahar in the number of Taliban-related attacks.
I am assuming that the soldiers killed were from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, right?
On June 19, 1969, Viet Cong forces almost overran the fire base manned by Battery C, 138th Field Artillery of the Kentucky National Guard. Ten Americans were killed and another thirty-five were wounded before they managed to secure their perimeter. All of the casualties were from the small town of Bardstown (population at the time: 6,040), which coupled with additional losses over the course of the war gave Bardstown the sad distinction of having the highest casualty rate per population of any American town or city during the Vietnam War.
1) Why did we move troops in before fortifications were complete?
2) We must have figured this was a vital location. Why didn't we know the "lay of the land" and have local contacts before moving troops in?
3) Who gave the terrorists advanced notice that we were coming?
4) Did they force the villagers from their homes or did the villagers cooperate with them?
Since all the residents are “expelled” from the town it would be a good time for the US to wipe the town off the map and take some terrorist with it.
It’s not clear...but likely if as Roggio seems to think that the Soldiers were from the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
maine-iac7 ·may have some detail....
Get ready for armchair generals to critique the attack 3,2,1...
Prayers for his wife and family.
I think this is moving beyond a Hearts and Mind operation.....
If the fortifications were incomplete, some of the troop casualties could have been combat engineers who were there to beef things up.
Brigade 055...they are AQ’s best of the best.
How do we know about them?
...Have they moved beyond Cells?
Thanks for the ping.
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