On December 5, The NATO’s mission in Afghanistan “Resolute Support” announced in an official statement that it has killed Mullah Shah Wali, the commander of the infamous Taliban special force “Red Units”.
The airstrike destroyed his car in Musa Qala district of the southern Helmand province on December 1. According to the statement, his deputy commander and three other Taliban fighters were also killed in the airstrike.
Resolute Support said that the Taliban’s Red Units had planned and conducted dozens of suicide and IED attacks against the Afghan Army, Police and the NATO in Afghanistan. Wali personally was responsible for drug and arms trafficking in Helmand province, according to General John Nicholson, US Forces-Afghanistan commander.
“Mullah Shah Wali’s death will disrupt the Taliban network, degrade their narcotics trafficking, and hinder their ability to conduct attacks against Afghan forces … USFOR-A and our Afghan partners will continue to aggressively target Taliban leaders to destroy their drug network, disrupt their communications, and deny them safe haven,” Gen. Nicholson said.
The Taliban’s Red Units are considered a very effective force well known for its successful nigh hit and run attacks. A report of the New York Times revealed that up to 70 Afghan soldiers and policemen were killed by Red Units in night attacks between November 13 and 14 only.
The killing of Wali is for sure a huge blow to the Taliban. However, it will not likely affect the efficiency of the Taliban’s Red Units as Resolute Support claimed.