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Battle of Tarinkot
Part of the Afghan Civil War and the War in Afghanistan
DateNovember 13–14, 2001
LocationTarinkot, Afghanistan
Result Eastern Alliance and American victory
Eastern Alliance
United States
Commanders and leaders
Afghanistan Hamid Karzai
United States Jason Amerine
30-60 Eastern Alliance
11 Americans (ODA 574 and 1 AFSOC CCT)[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Tarinkot took place in 2001 during the War in Afghanistan. In early November, Hamid Karzai had entered Taliban-controlled eastern Afghanistan with a small force of guerrillas, accompanied by American special forces soldiers.[2] In response to the approach of Karzai's force, the inhabitants of the town of Tarinkot revolted and expelled their Taliban administrators. Karzai traveled to Tarinkot to meet with the town elders. While he was there, the Taliban marshaled a force of 500 men to retake Tarinkot. Karzai's small force plus the American contingent, which consisted of US Army Special Forces ODA 571 and their US Air Force Combat Controller, Tech Sergeant Alex Yoshimoto,[3] were deployed in front of the town to block their advance. Relying heavily on close air support directed by Yoshimoto, the American/Afghan force managed to halt the Taliban advance and drive them away from the town.[4]

The defeat of the Taliban at Tarinkot was an important victory for Karzai, who used the victory to recruit more men to his fledgling guerrilla band. His force would grow in size to a peak of around 800 men. On November 30, they left Tarinkot and began advancing on Kandahar.

The story has been told in The Only Thing Worth Dying For, by Eric Blehm, detailing the experiences of Operational Detachment Alpha 574, a U.S. Army Special Forces ODA.


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