Battle of Tarin Kowt

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Battle of Tarin Kowt
Part of the Afghan Civil War and the War in Afghanistan
Date November 13–14, 2001
Location Tarinkot, 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 571)[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Tarin Kowt 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 Tarin Kowt revolted and expelled their Taliban administrators. Karzai traveled to Tarin Kowt to meet with the town elders. While he was there, the Taliban marshaled a force of 500 men to retake Tarin Kowt. Karzai's small force plus the American contingent were deployed in front of the town to block their advance. Relying heavily on close air support, the American/Afghan force managed to halt the Taliban advance and drive them away from the town.[3]

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 Tarin Kowt 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.