Red Group

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Red Group
Sara Kheta
Active 2016 - present
Allegiance Flag of Taliban.svg Taliban
Type Special forces[1]
Size 300[2]
Commanders
Notable
commanders
  • Haji Nasarv
  • Mullah Taqi 
  • Mullah Shah Wali [3]

The Red Group (Pashto: Sara Kheta‎), also known as Red Unit, Blood Unit, Danger Group, or Taliban Special Forces Unit,[3] is a military unit of the Taliban, described in some accounts as a special forces group.

History[edit]

Red Group saw its first operational deployment in Sangin in early 2016.[2]

In the summer of that year a Taliban spokesperson reported to media that the Red Group was producing consistently "good" results in actions against the Afghan National Army and discussions were underway about utilizing it for increased operational deployments.[2] The assessment of the unit's potency was echoed by provincial officials in Helmand who described the outfit as "very dangerous and very successful".[2]

In July 2018, the Red Group played an important part in the Battle of Darzab, which resulted in a major Taliban victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province.[4]

Tactics and equipment[edit]

The Red Group, which numbers approximately 300, reportedly employs commando tactics and is equipped with "advanced weaponry", including night vision equipment, heavy machine guns, the M4 carbines.[5][6] as well as SCAR assault rifles in limited number. According to one analyst, it was unlikely the Red Group was effectively performing traditional special operations missions but were, instead, being used as shock troops or as a rapid deployment force.[7]

Leadership[edit]

The first known commander of the unit was Haji Nasarv according to a 2016 report by the Military Times.[2] In 2017 the BBC reported the Red Group commander was Mullah Taqi.[5] On 3 December 2017, Reuters reported that Mullah Taqi was killed by NATO forces.[8] He was succeeded by Mullah Shah Wali (alias "Haji Nasir"), who was killed in December 2017. An advisor to Mullah Shah Wali, the German mujahid Abdul Wadood, was captured by the Afghan military in March 2018.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Snow, Shawn (12 August 2016). "Red Group: The Taliban's New Commando Force". The Diplomat. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kahn, Mirwais (7 August 2017). "Taliban's new commando force tests Afghan army's strength". Military Times. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Bill Roggio (6 March 2018). "German captured while fighting with Taliban's Red Unit". Long War Journal. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. ^ Bill Roggio (1 August 2018). "Taliban says Islamic State has been 'completely defeated' in Jawzjan". Long War Journal. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Taliban territory: Life in Afghanistan under the militants". BBC News. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Taliban 'special forces' lead Helmand assault: Afghan officials". Reuters. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  7. ^ Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (15 August 2016). "These are the elite Taliban forces fighting for a province once held by U.S. troops". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Command of Taliban 'special forces' killed in Afghanistan". 3 December 2017. Retrieved 7 Dec 2017.