Military Wiki

Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 42: Unable to find the specified location map definition: "Module:Location map/data/Afghanistan" does not exist. The Battle of Lashkargah was a battle between the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Taliban for control of the city of Lashkargah. The United States supported Afghan forces with airstrikes.[5] The fighting started in late July 2021, and clashes occurred around the governor's residence, NDS headquarters, police headquarters, and prison. The police headquarters was captured by the Taliban on 12 August 2021, and the last government forces evacuated or surrendered in the night from 12 to 13 August 2021.[7] Civilians were killed in the fighting.


Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand Province, was previously attacked by the Taliban in October of 2020.[8] According to the governor, their attack had been repulsed.[9] Clashes occurred around the city in May 2021.[10][11] In the weeks leading up to early June, the Taliban conducted several attacks on Lashkargah, mostly around districts 10 and 3 in the city. Those districts briefly fell to the Taliban.[12]

In the weeks before the assault on Lashkargah, the local police forces had mostly deserted their posts. As a result, the defense of an area was mostly carried by local, ill-equipped border soldiers. They were mainly motivated by loyalty to their commanding officer Captain Ezzatullah Tofan, instead of allegiance to the central government.[4]

By 22 July government forces were pulling troops from Majrah District and Garmsir District to reinforce Lashkargah, causing those districts to fall to the Taliban.[13]


The Taliban attacked the city from several directions on 29 July 2021.[14] Around then, the fighting started in Lashkargah,[15][16] although fighting had been ongoing around it for several weeks.[17] Clashes occurred in the first and seventh district, with government forces holding the ninth. Government reinforcements arrived on 31 July.[18] Taliban and security forces battled near the governor's residence, police headquarters, and NDS headquarters.[19] On August 2 the Taliban captured the government TV building in Lashkargah. Only one district of the city remained in government control and only Kajaki District was under government control out of all the province's districts.[15]

On August 3 Major General Sami Sadat warned the citizens of Lashkar Gah to leave their homes before the ANA beginning clearing operations.[20] On August 4 the Taliban advanced to the guard posts of the police headquarters. The Government deployed more soldiers, including commandos.[21] Later that day, the clearance operation began. The Taliban had been contesting the governor's building, police headquarters, prison, and NDS headquarters.[16] Two days later, an airstrike in Lashkargah killed Mawlawi Mubarak, a commander of the Taliban Red Group elite unit. By this point, the Taliban had seized nine districts.[2] On 9 August, the main fighting was in districts one and two. The Government said its forces had cleared the Taliban from these areas.[22]

The Taliban captured the police headquarters on 12 August after a suicide car bombing the previous day.[23] This had been a crucial choke-point.[24][25] Government security forces retreated to the governor's residence nearby,[26][27] from where the remaining government forces evacuated by helicopter to Camp Shorabak or surrendered during the night to 13 August, leaving the Taliban in control of the city.[7][28]


Between 9 July and 10 August, 183 civilians were killed and 1,181 injured in Lashkargah, Kandahar, Herat, and Kunduz.[29] 40 civilians had been killed on 3 August.[17] The Emergency Surgical Center inside the city was at 90% capacity on 1 August.[30] The capture of the city was likely a significant morale boost to the Taliban, and a source of income with the province's poppy fields.[31]

See also


  1. Moiz, Ibrahim (5 October 2021). "How the Afghan Taliban achieved their takeover of Afghanistan" (in en). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Key Taliban commander among 40 dead in Afghanistan". lokmat. 6 August 2021. 
  3. Sadat, Sami (25 August 2021). "I Commanded Afghan Troops This Year. We Were Betrayed.". The New York Times. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gibbons-Neff, Thomas; Abed, Fahim; Hassan, Sharif (13 August 2021). "The Afghan Military Was Built Over 20 Years. How Did It Collapse So Quickly?". The New York Times. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Seldin, Jeff (10 August 2021). "Pentagon: US Airstrikes in Afghanistan 'Having an Effect' on Taliban | Voice of America - English" (in en). 
  6. Bunkall, Alistair (14 August 2021). "Afghanistan: Taliban fighters take southern city of Lashkar Gah following capture of Kandahar and Herat2". 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Birsel, Robert (13 August 2021). "Taliban capture Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand - police official". Reuters. 
  8. Qazi, Shereena (19 October 2020). "As violence flares in south Afghanistan, key questions answered" (in en). 
  9. Nikzad, Khalid (23 October 2020). "Taliban Plan to Overrun Lashkargah Foiled: Governor" (in en). 
  10. Hamim, Abdullah (5 May 2021). "1,000 Families Displaced in Fighting Around Lashkargah: Officials" (in en). 
  11. "Afghan war enters more brutal phase as U.S. troops begin pullout" (in en-US). Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. 
  12. "Nearly 700 attacks launched on Afghanistan's Lashkargah in 3 weeks: Army Commander" (in en). 1 June 2021. 
  13. Shaheed, Anisa (22 July 2021). "Fighting Reported in Multiple Areas, 19 Soldiers Killed" (in en). 
  14. "Fighting rages for key Afghan cities as Taliban blamed for attack on UN". 31 July 2021. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Nikzad, Khaled (2 August 2021). "Fighting in Helmand's Capital Lashkargah Continues for 5th Day" (in en). 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Afghan Forces Launch Major Operation in Helmand’s Lashkargah" (in en). 5 August 2021. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Afghanistan war: Bodies on the streets as fighting traps Lashkar Gah residents" (in en-GB). BBC News. 3 August 2021. 
  18. Lister, Tim (1 August 2021). "Taliban threaten to seize first provincial capital as fighting intensifies across Afghanistan". 
  19. Nikzad, Khaled (1 August 2021). "Fighting Continues in Key Areas of Lashkargah for 2nd Day" (in en). 
  20. "Afghan forces order civilians to leave city under Taliban siege" (in en). 3 August 2021. 
  21. "After 7 Days, Heavy Clashes Still Ongoing in Helmand’s Capital" (in en). 4 August 2021. 
  22. "Afghanistan: Clashes claim 20 civilians life, health clinic, school in Helmand destroyed" (in en). 9 August 2021. 
  23. Beaumont, Peter (2021-08-12). "Taliban tighten grip on approaches to Kabul in Afghanistan offensive" (in en). 
  24. "After lengthy siege, Lashkar Gah is taken by the Taliban | FDD's Long War Journal" (in en-US). 2021-08-13. 
  25. "How the Taliban stormed across Afghanistan in ten days" (in en-GB). BBC News. 2021-08-16. 
  26. "Afghanistan: Taliban take 10th provincial capital as Ghazni falls" (in en-GB). BBC News. 12 August 2021. 
  27. Akhgar, Tameem; Faiez, Rahim; Gambrell, Jon (12 August 2021). "Taliban take Afghanistan's third-largest city in onslaught" (in en). 
  28. Nikzad, Khaled (13 August 2021). "Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul Also Fall to Taliban" (in en). 
  29. "UN Seeks Action to Prevent ‘Calamitous Consequences’ for Afghans" (in en). 10 August 2021. 
  30. "Afghanistan: Fighting Reaches the City Of Lashkar-Gah. | EMERGENCY UK" (in en-GB). 1 August 2021. 
  31. "Afghan Fighting Rages as US and UK Accuse Taliban of Massacring Civilians" (in en-US). 3 August 2021. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).