MIxTRAC: Taliban/Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Spring Offensive 2018: Launching the Al Khandaq Jihadi Operations

Posted By April 30, 2018 No Comments

The below is a re-post of a report originally published by TRAC: Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium in partnership with the Mackenzie Institute. Please click here for the full briefing, and here for a related briefing. 


On 25 April 2018, Taliban / Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) announced the launch of its yearly spring offensive named the Al Khandaq Jihadi Operations.  A photo report of training was issued with the statement showcasing its infamous, elite Red Unit special ops forces. Please see associated actives section to the right of this entry for recent Red Unit activity.  Two days prior IEA also released a video Mullah Akhtar Muhmmad Mansoor Training Camp in Baghlan province, Afghanistan. Often when IEA highlights training it foreshadows upcoming attacks.


The statement focuses on the justification for the offensive as a defensive jihad resisting the occupation of the United States and coalition forces. The accusation is the United States has expanded its targeted operations from rural areas to public spaces like health centers, farmlands, entire towns, mosques and madrassas.  IEA views itself as not only defending the Afghan nation but also all of Islam as a whole.  The IEA also accused the United Stats of having no serious intentions of bringing the war to an end.


Al Khandaq operations are a historical reference to The Battle of Confederates/The battle of Trench where “the battle of Al Khandaq proved to be a decisive defeat for the infidel forces” and pushed them back from the holy city of Medina in modern day Saudi Arabia. IEA double downs on the concept of the evil invaders of the United States are to be evicted from Afghanistan.  Just as the photo report below indicates the IEA considers the Al Khandaq Jihadi Operations will be organized and planned by Military Commission of the Islamic Emirate (led by Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub; Mullah Omar’s son) and the spring offensive will “primary target will be the American invaders and their intelligence agents” warning that they are focused on “crushing, killing and capturing American invaders.” Any supporters are their secondary target and “will be nipped in the bud.”

IEA expects complete participation Al Khandaq Jihadi Operations.  It is worth mentioning that the IEA does not expect all battles to be suicidal, “remaining at sufficient distance from all enemy bases and convoys so that they are not unnecessarily harmed during these operations.”


There have already been two claims in the name of Al Khandaq Jihadi Operations; however subsequent claims in Faryab, Zabul, Kandahar and Farah on the same day did not specifically name the offensive.   In total 33 claims were made on the first day of the spring offensive 2018.



















This isn’t the first time IEA has blamed the United States for inhumane treatment of Afghan citizens, on 23 April 2018 a statement was released announcing that there were 399 airstrikes in the month of March 2018. (see full statement below) as well as an 08 April 2018 claim that US soldiers kidnapped 23 citizens and looted from the Zurmat district of Paktia after airstrikes. On 26 April 2018, IEA released a statement American Soldiers are Victims of Trump’s Avarice.  Capitalizing on  U.S. Commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson statement of being bogged down in Afghanistan, IEA claims that President Trump is only remaining in Afghanistan for the mineral deposits located under their soil. (see full statement below):

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

وَلَمَّا رَأَى الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْأَحْزَابَ قَالُوا هَٰذَا مَا وَعَدَنَا اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَصَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ وَمَا زَادَهُمْ إِلَّا إِيمَانًا وَتَسْلِيمًا )الاحزاب– (22

(And when the believers saw the Confederates, they said, `This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us; and Allah and His Messenger spoke the truth.’ And it only added to their faith and submission.)

Our respected Mujahid Nation!

You realize that some areas of our beloved homeland are still under the infidel occupation of American invaders and their allied forces.

The difference is that in the previous years of occupation, mainly Mujahidin, civilian people and rural areas were the prime targets of the aerial and ground attacks of foreign occupying force but now mosques, religious educational centers and their innocent students have been added to the list and the indiscriminate bombardment of a religious madrassa in Dast-i-Archi district of Kunduz province is an instance at hand.

The continuation of the legitimate Jihadi resistance against the foreign invaders and their internal and external supporters is deemed as a legal, moral and security obligation by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as a defending force of the pious values of our sacred religion of Islam and the territorial integrity of our homeland. Like past, this year too, for the sake of well-coordinated and better-organized military activities, the Al Khandaq Jihadi operations will be launched for the following reasons:

Both our land and air space is under the control of foreign occupying forces and our religious sanctities as well as helpless people are indiscriminately being targeted. Religious scholars, students memorizing the Holy Quran, tribal chieftains and Afghan masses are ruthlessly martyred. Complete towns, health centers, sacred places, green crops and blooming orchards are uprooted. Thousands of our innocent countrymen are incarcerated and the stooge officials of the puppet regime are completely helpless in inhibiting this brutality of the American invaders. Rather they collaborate with them by bearing the felonies of the foreign occupying forces in most cases.

Besides sustaining the ongoing illegitimate occupation, the newly adopted war strategy of Trump has been ruthlessly implemented in the villages and rural areas against our oppressed Afghan people for the past nine months. Thousands of additional foreign forces are being deployed inside Afghanistan and they are supplied with new devastating weapons and vast military authorities.

The existence of multiple American bases set up under the ‘Strategic Agreement’ between the American invaders and the puppet regime in Kabul are reasons through which America sabotages all chances of peace and plays crucial and decisive role in intensifying and prolonging the ongoing war in Afghanistan while rejecting the policy of the Islamic Emirate for peaceful negotiations.

Besides the overall anarchy prevailing in the areas controlled by the American invaders and their stooge admin in Kabul, numerous evident and secret centers for obscenity, alcohol, licentious movies, invitation to revoked religion and various other illegitimate activities continue to operate.

On top of the above aggressive, ideological and licentious ambitions of their American masters, the deceptive efforts launched by the ineffectual and corrupt officials of the puppet regime inside and outside the country are nothing but a conspiracy orchestrated by the foreign occupiers for enervating, crushing and eventually pacifying the ongoing legitimate Afghan resistance and are not efforts for ending the war and restoring lasting peace.

Their main effort is to deviate the public opinion from the illegitimate foreign occupation of the country, as the Americans have no serious or sincere intentions of bringing the war to an end. Rather they want to intensify and prolong it by engulfing Afghanistan as well as the whole region in its flames, thus securing chances of their further influence and interference.

Therefore Islamic teachings and the explicit verses of the Holy Quran command and compel the Muslims towards reciprocal conduct to defend their creed and country and defeat the aggression of the hostile infidel enemy.

The Almighty Allah says:

…. فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ (194) البقرة

(So whoso transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent to which he has transgressed against you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear him.)

In compliance with these Quranic instructions and for the sake of defending our Islamic values, our homeland and the violated rights of its people, the Islamic Emirate is launching the Al Khandaq Jihadi operations of current year with the help of Almighty Allah and the absolute support of its Muslim masses against the foreign occupying forces and their internal backers.

This year Jihadi operations were termed as Al Khandaq operations with an optimism as the ongoing Jihadi situation resembles the conditions of the early era of Islam when different confederates of the enemies of Islam – after having been badly defeated in the battle of Badr – formed a coalition under various banners in the fifth year of Hijiri calendar and decided to exercise force and wage war to crush the Islamic rule in Medina Munawwara (the radiant city). But contrary to all their expectations, the result of this huge invasion of the infidel forces which is remembered as ‘The Battle of Confederates’ or ‘The battle of Trench’, was completely altered by Almighty Allah. Instead of annihilating the Muslims, the battle of Al Khandaq proved to be a decisive defeat for the infidel forces, as they lost all hope of ever invading the holy city of Medina. And our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say that from now we will attack them and they will not be able to attack us. This was the beginning of perpetual victories for Mujahidin and successive defeats for the infidel forces.

The planning and strategy of the Al Khandaq Jihadi operations are organized by the expert and proficient skilled cadre of the Military Commission of the Islamic Emirate which is based on guerilla, offensive, infiltrated and various other new and intricate tactics against the new war strategy of the enemy, mainly focusing on crushing, killing and capturing American invaders and their supporters.

Its primary target will be the American invaders and their intelligence agents. Their internal supporters will be dealt with as a secondary target while the present and future mischievous plots of the mischief-mongers will be nipped in the bud. In-sha Allah!!! (God willing)

These operations will be launched on 09/08/1439 corresponding with 25/04/2018 of this year with the help of Almighty Allah throughout the country, beginning with the cries of ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ (Allah is the Greatest), a terror casting and heart piercing war cry for the enemy. 

With the inauguration of these operations, the attention of our heroic Mujahidin is drawn towards the following: 

  • Since our Jihad is purely for the sake of Almighty Allah and our sole objective is to uplift the Word of Allah and to establish an Islamic system of life hence each of our Jihadi move should be in complete compliance with the rules and regulations of the Islamic Emirate and demarcated by Islamic Sharia.
  • As defined by the Holy Quran (اشداء علی الکفار رحماء بینهم)—“harsh towards the disbelievers and merciful among themselves” all Mujahidin should be sympathetic towards the Muslim masses and should be harsh towards the enemy. Therefore special attention should be paid to protecting the lives and properties of the civilian people and all precautionary measures should be taken while attacking a target.
  • We expect that our Mujahid masses will fully partake in the Al Khandaq Jihadi operations through their increased support for Mujahidin while remaining at sufficient distance from all enemy bases and convoys so that they are not unnecessarily harmed during these operations.
  • Our Mujahidin brothers should fully observe sincerity, devotion, modesty, trust in Allah, obedience, consultation and seeking Allah’s guidance in each and every Jihadi activity. They should adopt the following Du’a (prayer) as their regular and daily practice for revivification of Sunnah which was largely recited by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the battle of Ahzaab.

اللَّهُمَّ مُنْزِلَ الْكِتَابِ سَرِيعَ الْحِسَابِ وَمُجْرِيَ السَّحَابِ وَهَازِمَ الْأَحْزَابِ اهْزِمْهُمْ وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ.

(O Allah, the Revealer of the Book, Mover of the clouds, Defeater of the Confederates; defeat them and grant us victory over them.)


Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

9/8/1439 Hijri Lunar

5/2/1397 Hijri Solar 25/4/2018 Gregorian

For the rest of the report, please click here