Jan 29 at 5:05pm by David Tate
Afghan police kill eight Taliban in a prolonged firefight that began Saturday. The battle took place in the Deh Rawood district of Oruzgan Province.
Six Taliban, including two commanders, are killed just west of Kandahar city.
A British soldier is killed and five others wounded in an IED attack in Helmand Province. The soldiers were working as advisors to the Afghan National Army.
Private investment in Afghanistan drops nearly 50% in 2007, falling from 1 billion to 500 million dollars. The reason cited is deteriorating security.
Four Afghan construction workers kidnapped from a road project in Nuristan Province are found beheaded.
Three civilians are killed and nine wounded in two separate bombings in Zhari district, Kandahar Province.
Top Al Qaeda leader, Abu Laith al-Libi, is reportedly killed. The news comes from a website known to be a reliable source of news regarding extremist activities. If true, al-Libi is the second man killed from the coalition’s “most wanted” list within the past month.
A suicide bomber kills Helmand Province Deputy Governor, Pir Mohammed. Six others, including the bomber, were killed in the blast which happened in a mosque in Lashkar Gah.
Jan 28 at 9:09am by David Tate
I had been embedded with the 22nd MEU for just a few days when I punched out with the Marines from BLT 1/6 as they continued their first named operation of the 2004 surge named, “Operation El Dorado”.
“I hate those stupid names…,” quipped 1/6′s charismatic leader Lt. Col Asad Khan. That name would soon be associated with the MEU’s only combat death of 2004 when it’s Light Armored Recon unit gets ambushed in the pre-dawn hours of May 7.
What followed was arguably the largest Quick Reaction Force to ever be launched during Operation Enduring Freedom as Khan and his Leathernecks air assault into Taliban-country looking for those responsible.
Jan 23 at 6:06pm by David Tate
This six minute clip is taken from Chapter 2 of, “An Experiment in Democracy” called, “The Reconstruction Phase”. CitizeNews has limited its story length to roughly six minutes and since my stories usually run longer, some chapters will be released in several sections.
This story covers the men of 2-87, 10th Mountain Division, as they work to stabilize Ghazni Province prior to the historic Afghan presidential election in 2004.
Units covered: 2-87, 10th Mountain Division, A & C Co.
Jan 21 at 11:11pm by David Tate
A British soldier is killed and five others wounded when their vehicles are hit by an IED northeast of Musa Qala, Helmand Province.
A government official in charge of Zabul Province’s Commision for National Reconciliation is executed. Qayyum Mujadeddi was shot dead after his vehicle was pulled over outside the provincial capital of Qalat. Mujadeddi’s driver and a guard were also kidnapped.
Seven Taliban fighters are killed in Musa Qala District, Helmand Province; an eigth insurgent is killed in neighboring Zabul Province.
A suicide bomber is shot and killed in Gurbaz district, Khowst Province, after approaching a police station.
Afghan National Army soldiers call in an airstrike on a man preparing a roadside bomb along a major highway in Nar-e Saraj District Helmand Province. A few miles north of this incident, ANA soldiers call in an airstrike on a Taliban observation post. A subsequent security patrol of the nearby town of Tambash turned up a cache of IED-making material, including a 105mm shell. Tambash is considered by the coalition to be an insurgent center of activity.
Six Taliban fighters, including two leaders, are killed by Afghan Security Forces in Jalai district, Kandahar Province. Several others are arrested.
The Afghan National Army will now eventually be 86,000 strong, 16,000 more than the original 2001 Bonn Agreement calls for.
The United Nations Mine Action Center for Afghanistan reports a total of 143 people were killed and 438 injured across Afghanistan by unexploded and abandoned ordinance in 2007. To underscore the issue, a Soviet-era mine was found next to an elementary school in Paktia Province. The mine, which was safely removed, was 2-feet below the surface. Locals say the area has been cleared of mines five times since the end of the Soviet occupation.
One man is killed and four others wounded when their civilian vehicle is hit by a roadside bomb in Khowst Province.
Seven men, including one admitted insurgent, are detained after an operation in Qalat district, Zabul Province.
The deathtoll attributed to the harsh Afghan winter tops 300. Provinces in the west and central Afghanistan are hit hardest.
Coalition forces, aiding Afghan Security Forces, capture nine suspected terrorists and kill one in Musa Qala district, Helmand Province.
A suicide bomber preparing for an attack in Khowst Provinice, stumbles down some stairs and explodes, killing himself and wounding three others. It’s the second such mishap to be reported in as many days.
One Canadian is killed an two others wounded when the armored vehicle they were in is hit by an IED in Panjwai district, Kandahar Province.
Nine suspected Taliban are captured and several others killed after coalition forces are attacked in Ghazni Province.
US forces reportedly kill as many as 10 Afghan police and two civilians during an operation in Ghazni Province.
The Canadian military has stopped transferring prisoners to Afghan custody because of concerns regarding the violation of the Geneva Convention. The new procedure began in October 2007.
An American Special Forces soldier is killed and three others, plus an interpreter, are wounded during a firefight in Barikowt, Nari district, Kunar Province.
Four Afghan National Army soldiers are killed when an IED hits their vehicle while patrolling in Khowst Province.
A cache of 130 mines found in Anardara district, Farah Province may have come from Iran. The explosives were found in the home of a known Taliban commander and include 40 “sophisticated” remote contolled mines.
Top ten most wanted terrorist in Afghanistan, Darim Sedgai, is confirmed killed in a January 16th ambush in Pakistan. Sedgai, who had a $50,000 bounty on his head, is the third Haqqanni network leader killed in recent months.
A burka-clad American woman is kidnapped in Kandahar City. The 49-year old aid worker is employed by the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation.
A US paratrooper is killed in Waygal district, Nuristan Province. The shooting may be a case of friendly fire.
2 Afghan police are killed and another eight wounded when their patrol is hit by an IED in Panjway district, Kandahar Province.
Jan 21 at 12:12am by David Tate
ISAF aircraft target a senior Taliban commander in Kapisa Province. The attack happened in Tag Ab Valley, aimed at a key HiG insurgent facilitator operating in Kapisa, Parwan and Kabul Provinces.
Four Canadian soldiers are wounded when their vehicle hits a mine in Panjwai district, Kandahar Province.
Six people are killed and six more wounded when terrorists attack the five-star Serena hotel with grenades, small arms and a suicide vest. The Norwegian Foreign Minister was inside the hotel when it was attacked. The hotel is located in central Kabul and is arguably the most popular hotel in the city.
Three Taliban are killed and a policeman wounded in a firefight in Nesh district, Oruzgan Province.
The U.S. Defense Department announces the deployment orders for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines for service in Afghanistan. The 24th MEU will be assigned to Afghanistan’s southern command while 2/7 will be used for training Afghan Security Forces.
A Canadian soldier is killed and another wounded when their vehicle is hit by an IED in Arghandab district, Kandahar Province.
Seven Canadians are wounded in two seperate explosions in Panjwai district, Kandahar Province.
Five Taliban fighters, including a self-claimed leader, are arrested in Qalat district, Zabul Province.
American and Afghan troops battle Taliban forces for more than 21 hours in Watapoor district, Kunar Province, leaving more than two dozen insurgents killed or wounded, American intelligence estimates. The fighting started when coalition troops ambushed a large Taliban force massing to attack a rural U.S. base. Foreign fighters are among the dead.
An Afghan convoy carrying supplies to an ISAF base in Helmand Province is ambushed. Two drivers and two guards are killed.
Five civilians are killed and three wounded when their taxi hits a mine in Panjwai district, Kandahar Province.
A winter humanitarian crisis is underway in Afghanistan as heavy snows and frigid weather has killed more than 200. The United Nations says 1,000,000 Afghans in four western/central provinces alone are at risk. In light of the difficult humanitarian conditions, Iran suspends the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees.
American General David McKiernan is named the new commander of ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
Jan 19 at 3:03pm by David Tate
I’ve been so busy lately that I can hardly stand it. Good news is that I have finally started getting my chronicle in history, “An Experiment in Democracy”, available online for you to watch. The folks over at CitizeTV have asked me to produce content for them, and I’ve agreed. They decided to start with my recent release, periodically releasing the chapters.
With the link below, you will see a brief introduction of Afghanistan, in very layman terms, leading up to 2004. The first chapter, “Hearts and Minds” can be seen Hearts and Minds. Chapter 3, “A Surge Force” can be found in my video section.
If anyone would like a professionally packaged DVD of “An Experiment in Democracy”, send me a minimum $15 donation on PayPal, and I’ll ship it out that day.
There’s still four more chapters to post, so check back or link this blog.
Jan 17 at 6:06pm by David Tate
Last year I completed a six-part chronicle in history covering the year of 2004 in Afghanistan. I arguably traveled more miles than any other videojournalist in Afghanistan that year.
In part one of this series, I take a look at the “Hearts and Minds” operation that kicked off in spring of that year. I tag along as the coalition works to inform the people of this country about the upcoming presidential election, as well as helping to bring basic needs, to a needy population.
The idea: By winning hearts and minds, you turn the population against the enemy.
Units covered: 45th Infantry Division (Oklahoma) (ETTs), 205th Corps Afghan National Army, Romanian 280th Infantry Battalion
Jan 13 at 10:10pm by David Tate
Two Canadian soldiers are killed in a vehicle accident while in support of Operation Teng Azem which is targeting militants in Zhari district, Kandahar Province.
Afghan National Police wrap up a series of operations aimed at bringing complete security to Shaidi Hasas district of Oruzgan Province. ANP forces have established checkpoints in the villages of Sha Masaad, Sakhar, Pasaw, Dosang, Doanne and Yakdan. Citizens have started to return.
Canadian troops, along with Afghan security forces, kill three militants and capture one in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province.
Two Indian soldiers are killed in southern Nimroz Province by a suicide bomber. The paramilitary soldiers are part of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police which is tasked with protecting Indian construction workers operating in Afghanistan.
Two American soldiers are killed and another wounded when they are hit by an IED in the Kot District of Nangahar Province. The soldiers were investigating a suspected IED in a nearby location. At least one of the dead men is a member of US Special Forces Command.
A suicide bomber kills one policeman and wounds four others in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar Province.
The Afghan government appoints former-Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Salam, as district chief of Musa Qala district, Helmand Province. Mullah Salam is one of the Taliban commanders to defect prior to the coalition assault to retake the city.
The man arrested in Islam Qala, Herat Province, accused of being an Iranian spy has been identified. The Afghan government says the man is Rohullah, son of Haji Ramazan, 28, from Samnan, Iran. Rohullah has allegedly confessed to infiltrating the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps, based in Kandahar, where he served as a soldier for one year. He was caught in possesion of a forged Afghan passport and citizen ID card while trying to cross back into Iran last week.
One ISAF member is killed and another wounded when their vehicle hits a mine in southern Afghanistan.
Poland has reached a tenative agreement with NATO officials, moving one step closer to taking over security for the eastern province of Paktika. The talks go before US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates next week. Poland is also pushing to have a General grade officer added to the ISAF’s top command.
Afghan security forces find two seperate weapons caches in Khogyani district, Nangarhar Province. Three men are arrested when IED-making material was found in two separate compounds.
A joint Afghan/NATO patrol spends the day in a firefight in the Deh Rawood District of Oruzgan Province. Following the fighting, which included coalition airstrikes, Afghan security forces found a cache of machine gun rounds and 20 rocket propelled grenades inside a school for boys.
Members of the Pashtun “Wazir” tribe, located along the Afghan/Pakistani border, announce the formation of a militia to rid their area of al-Qaida and other foreign militants.
Afghan Army units find Iranian made mines buried in a section of the main highway between Kabul and Jalalabad. The mines are described as, “the latest in technology.”
Two Dutch soldiers are killed in a firefight in Oruzgan Province. Two Afghan soldiers are killed in the same vicinity later that evening. Fighting broke out as coalition forces were working to help refugees living in the Deh Rawood bazaar to return home. Dutch reports say the four men were killed by friendly fire. It is unclear if this incident is the same, or related to, the contact reported January 10th. A third Dutch soldier was wounded in a separate incident.
A pre-dawn Taliban attack on a police checkpoint in Maiwand district, Kandahar Province leaves ten policeman dead.
A suicide bomber kills one police officer and wounds two others in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Six civilians are also wounded.
Three Taliban fighters are killed and two captured in a two hour firefight in Kandahar’s Jalai district.
Senior Taliban leader, Saifur Rahman Mansoor, is killed in fighting in Pakistan’s South Waziristan district. Saifur Rahman commanded the Kargha garrison, near Kabul, during the Taliban regieme and has been leading Taliban fighters in Paktia Province since the U.S.-led invasion and led Taliban forces during the Battle of Tora Bora.
At least 50 people are dead following heavy snowfall in western Afghanistan. 43 people die in Ghoryan district, Herat Province alone. Dozens, including more than 30 Iranian construction workers are trapped as roads have become impassable.
Jan 13 at 12:12pm by David Tate
In an artricle by Hamza Hendawi regarding the current fighting southeast of Baghdad in Arab Jabour, Hendawi writes, “That a major battle against al-Qaida should take place so close to the capital and nearly a year after the U.S. military began a large-scale offensive to calm Baghdad and its suburbs suggests either that the insurgents are elusive or that they are deeply entrenced.” In particular, Hendawi is talking about a town in Arab Jabour called Zambaraniyah. Regarding that question, the answer is the latter.
In mid-June 2007, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team (3rd ID) moved into Arab Jabour; the tip of the spear for Operation Marne Torch and the “surge” strategy. Arab Jabour had been void of any coalition presence for more than a year, becoming a playground for al-Qaida in Iraq, as well as a launching point for insurgent attacks into the capital barely 10 miles away.
Immediately, 1/30 re-occupied a large villa along the banks of the Tigris River, which some say was Uday Hussein’s former vacation spot. The site was previously used as a base when US forces tried to establish a permenant footprint in 2006. It’s now officially called Patrol Base Murray and it serves as battalion headquarters for the area operating in Arab Jabour.
From Patrol Base Murray, the soldiers of 1/30 Infantry continued clearing house after house, palm grove after palm grove. The fighting was hot, dusty and dangerous. The Bradleys and M-1 tanks had great difficulty navigating the narrow roads, many of which were lined with canals. Dozens of deep-buried IEDs, many pre-placed months in advance, waited for the Americans. By summer 2007, 2nd BCT had lost nearly 60 soldiers killed in action.
Even with the heavy cost, the fighting did produce tangible gains, giving the local Iraqis a feeling that the Americans were finally in Arab Jabour to stay. The unit maintained pickets in the form of Bradley fighting vehicles that had overlapping fields of view; preventing roads previously cleared of explosives to stay that way. Another patrol base farther into the region, PB Hawkes, was built in September.
The positive motion on the battlefield ignited a local “concerned citizens” movement. Led by a former Saddam-era army officer called, General Mustafa (his real name is Shabib al-Jabouri), the more than 300 local volunteers began directly challenging the terrorists and were even assigned their own area of operations.
All of this was laid out to me by 1/30 battalion commander, Lt. Col Ken Adgie, a tough Irish-American from New Jersey who loves to talk candidly and kick his enemy’s ass. It’s mid-September inside 1/30′s TOC (Tactical Operations Center) and Lt. Col. Adgie and I are standing in front of a huge map of Arab Jabour. He is clearly happy with the progress he and his men have made.
The whole time, however, like the AP’s rhetorical question, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that we were just 10 miles from Baghdad. Nearly five years into the war, Arab Jabour was just being occupied with intent. All I could think was, “…not enough troops”. Then I heard it out loud.
“I don’t have enough troops.” said Adgie, as he pointed to a chunk of his area of operation he had no intentions of sending troops into. “I feel bad for the people there, but I just don’t have the manpower.” The place he was referring to was Zambaraniyah.
Adgie estimated the hamlet, farther south along the Tigris, held dozens of insurgents. More importantly, Adgie was convinced the area was littered with literally hundreds of booby-traps and deep-buried IEDs that were patiently waiting to kill and maim American soldiers. Even worse, was the fact that the area is notorious for producing experts in fertilizer bombs, some so powerful they can flip a tank. At first I was a bit confused hearing a hard charging battalion commander concede a chunk of his responsibility to his enemy, but the more I thought about the hidden dangers that would eventually find his men, it was understandable.
Now, four months later, it’s clear Lt. Col Adgie finally got the reinforcements needed to clear Zambaraniyah, although not in the form of American soldiers. Four months of intelligence gathering and preperation paid off this week for Lt. Col Adgie as the United States Air Force supplemented his mechinized infantry with a devestating bombing campaign, allowing the men of 1/30 Infantry Regiment to roll into Zambaraniyah nearly unscathed.
Jan 11 at 1:01pm by David Tate
Arab Jabour (southeast of Baghdad)
By taking the time to visit places, like Iraq, I always seem to meet interesting folks after the fact. There’s a number of reasons why people write to me. Usually, though, it’s because of a connection. Sometimes that connection is a dead soldier, and when it is, it really makes me think.
Recently, a man named Ed Kirkpatrick, dropped me a note. His son, Scott, was killed in Arab Jabour back in August. He decided to write to me because he has unanswered questions about his son’s death. Since I was the first civilian he’d encountered that had been to the area, he thought, just perhaps, I could help him. He still doesn’t have any questions I can help him with, but he believes the more he knows about the place that took his son, the better his mind can be at ease for his sacrifice.
So, this is for you and your family, Ed. Maybe someone out there will see this and be able to help you more. I hope these images help you understand what it is you’re looking for.
*1/30 Infantry is listed as cavalry in this presentation. In fact, they are mechanized infantry.
For more slideshows, visit here: Battlefield Tours by David Tate