The Badri 313 unit, the Taliban’s special operation forces (SOF), has come to prominence following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. This unit, which is heavily connected with the Haqqani network and has ties with Al-Qaeda, is well-equipped, highly trained, and is considered the Taliban’s most sophisticated fighting force, ready to defend its values to the death.
- The Badri 313 unit is aligned with the Haqqani network, a major influence within the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan government. The unit is also linked to Al-Qaeda due to shared ideological beliefs and is known for its desire for martyrdom.
- The unit is led by Abdul Hafeez Hafiz, a member of the Haqqani network. As of May 2022, the UN estimates that there are around 700 fighters operating under the Badri 313 banner.
- The Badri 313 unit is well-equipped with spoils of war left behind by the U.S. and the previous Afghan National Army. Their gear includes camouflage uniforms, body armour, night vision goggles, armoured Humvees, M4 carbine rifles, and M16 rifles.
- The unit’s training and tactical knowledge, provided by the Haqqani network and possibly the Pakistani ISI, have made them instrumental in the Taliban’s victories. They were central in securing the capital, Kabul, following the Taliban’s takeover.
- Badri 313 has been active in various operations, including providing security in Kabul, battling National Resistance Front in the Panjshir Valley, being stationed at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and acting against the rising threat of IS-K in Afghanistan.
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