Terrorism & Insurgency

The Red Brigade: the Taliban’s special forces play growing role in conflict

05 December 2017

Key Points

  • Taliban special forces, known as Sare Qeta and, aligned with the Quetta Shura, have expanded substantially in size and responsibility over the past three years, tripling in size to approximately 7,500.
  • The Sare Qeta have increased the effectiveness of the Taliban on the battlefield and have spearheaded destructive attacks particularly on security checkpoints and outposts, although there remains some discord within the Taliban regarding their overall role and funding.
  • The role of Taliban special forces is likely to increase in the future, with other shuras apart from the Quetta Shura also developing their own units.

During 2017, reports of well-trained and well-equipped Taliban special forces emerged with increasing insistence from the southern and western provinces of Afghanistan.

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