Farah Province

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On the western border with Iran, Farah Province of Afghanistan has Herat Province to the north, Ghor Province on its north and east, and Nimroz and Helmand Provinces on its south. Its capital is Farah (city) city.

It is the center of Taliban activity in southwest Afghanistan, within the ISAF Western Regional Command, where Italy, in 2008, said it would begin combat as well as training missions. It is part of ISAF’s Regional Command-West, is the smallest of the five commands, with 2600 troops spread over four provinces. The Taliban had previously come from Helmand Province but now is local. [1]

There have, since 2008, been incidents where civilians have been injured and killed by airstrikes. In 2009, it became an area of increased International Security Assistance Force activity against the Taliban, but there were incidents that produced significant collateral damage. Farah Province deputy governor Yunus Rasooli told Reuters that residents of two villages hit this week by U.S. warplanes had produced lists with the names of 147 people killed in the attacks.[2] Also causing collateral damage is the Taliban's preferred weapon of roadside bombs.[3]

Western Afghanistan had been relatively secure, but flared in 2007. The pattern of attacks is hit-and-run, with buses the Herat-Kandahar highway stopped and searched by Taliban looking for government workers and sympathizers. Security forces, both coalition and Afghan police, are weak; the police are poorly paid. Some, such as Wakil Mutawakil, blame Iranian interference for the increased problems. Iran has been expelling more Afghans; there is speculation this may be a way to divert attention from its nuclear program, sending refugees into Farah, Herat, Nimruz and Badghis Provinces. [4]

References

  1. Matt Dupee (June 2, 2008), "Coalition and Taliban vie for control of southwestern Afghanistan in Farah province", Long War Journal
  2. "Afghan's Karzai demands U.S. halt air strikes: report", Reuters, 9 May 2009
  3. "US Marines and Afghan villagers face Taliban IED scourge", Agence France Presse, 30 September 2009
  4. Waliullah Rahmani (December 10, 2007), "Farah Province: The New Focus of the Taliban Insurgency", Terrorism Monitor, Jamestown Foundation