Early Friday morning Taliban fighters attempted to storm a major Afghan military base in southern Afghanistan that houses Afghan forces and U.S. Marine advisers, according to military officials.
U.S. forces assisted Afghan troops in beating back the Taliban assault with air support, according to Resolute Support.
There were no reported U.S. or coalition casualties, but the Washington Post reported that the death toll for Afghan security forces could be as high as 20.
“This morning an ANDSF base [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces], Camp Shorabak in Helmand, was attacked by the Taliban,” said Army Lt. Ubon Mendie, a spokesman for Resolute Support. “The separate adjoining U.S. base has its own security perimeter, which never came under serious threat.”
“The Afghan flag still flies over Camp Shorabak; the Taliban attackers are dead,” Mendie said in an emailed statement to Marine Corps Times.
Camp Shorabak, located in the volatile Helmand province, is home to the Afghan army’s 215th Corps and includes an adjoining American garrison of a couple hundred Marine advisers with Task Force Southwest.
The attack comes as the Taliban and U.S. negotiators in Qatar continue to push toward a deal to end the 17-year conflict.
Get the Marine Corps Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Marine Corps stories, delivered each afternoon
Enter a valid email address (please select a country) United States United Kingdom Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, The Democratic Republic of The Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote D’ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan, Province of China Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
Thanks for signing up!
Fear no longer. Be the first to hear about breaking news, as it happens. You’ll get alerts delivered directly to your inbox each time something noteworthy happens in the Military community.
By giving us your email, you are opting in to our Newsletter: Get the Marine Corps Times Daily News Roundup
On Wednesday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation and lead envoy for the talks with the Taliban, took to Twitter to announce that discussions with the Taliban would continue Saturday, following several days of productive discussions in Doha, Qatar.
(1/3) Emerging from three solid days of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. Meetings were productive. We continue to take slow, steady steps toward understanding and eventually #peace.— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) February 28, 2019
The New York Times reported that the Pentagon is floating a peace proposal that could see the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan over a three to five-year period.
The plan would have American forces largely relegated to counterterrorism missions while European and NATO allies carry the responsibility for training and advising Afghan forces, according to the Times.
The U.S. is seeking assurances from the Taliban that it will not allow terrorist groups to use Afghan soil to attack America — a draft framework agreed to by the Taliban in January, according to BBC News.
The attack against the large Afghan army base in southern Afghanistan is not the first time the Taliban have attempted to assault the sprawling military base.
Afghan National Army 215th Corps soldiers assist one another with adjusting their weapons during a live-fire range at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, May 14, 2018. (Sgt. Luke Hoogendam/Marine Corps)
In 2012, 15 Taliban militants breached Camp Bastion, which at the time housed thousands of British troops as well as U.S Marines. The base included the adjoining Camp Leatherneck and the Afghan base known as Shorabak.
Taliban fighters managed to destroy six Marine Harrier jets during the attacks and killed Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, the former commander of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211.
Raible was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for leading a counter attack. A Marine F-35B with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit bore Raible’s name as it carried out the first ever F-35 combat strikes in Afghanistan in September 2018.
While Task Force Southwest has aided Afghan forces in regaining territory and Helmand and expanding the security bubble around the province’s capital of Lashkar Gah, much of Helmand is still under Taliban control.
Taliban fighters are known to operate near the Shorabak military base. During the past several years the base has taken mortar and indirect fire.
In late fall 2018, Marine Corps Times was told that Task Force Southwest’s security had been strengthened with the Land-based Phalanx Weapons System, which can shoot down indirect fire or mortars.