Afghan Biographies

Taliban Special Forces Red Unit

Name Taliban Special Forces Red Unit
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background
History and Biodata

Red Group commander:
Mullah Taqi (2016)
Mullah Shah Wali (20171201 killed)
Daud Muzamil was initially injured in an airstrike condcuted in Khak-e-Safid district, Farah Province. Later he died.(20171214)
Mullah Nasir (20180301) deceased Dec 2017

Taliban Special Forces Red Group aka "Sara Kheta, Sara Khitta, Sra Khita, Sara Kitaa" - Red Unit or Danger Unit in Pashtu

The commander Mullah Shah Wali, aka Mullah Naser Haji Nasir, of the Taliban's special forces branch, known as the Red Unit, was killed Dec 1, 2017 in Helmand province in an air operation. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said  was killed in an air operation in Helmand. Wali became the commander of the Taliban's Red Unit as well as deputy shadow governor of Helmand province three years ago and was directly involved in Taliban offensives.  The Red Unit is thought to be equipped with advanced weapons, including night vision scopes, 82mm rockets, heavy machine guns and US-made assault rifles, according to the Afghan military.(20171203) Wali was killed alongside a suicide bomber and two other Taliban commanders in Helmand's Musa Qala district, according to the NDS. The United States has worked hard to build up Afghan air support and attack capabilities since they were found inadequate after most foreign forces withdrew three years ago.(20171203)

Its most prominent commanders include Peer Agha, the Taliban current governor for Kunar, Haji Usman Turabi, Bilal Fatih Zadran in Paktika, Umar Yasir in Laghman and its two recently killed commanders — Naik Muhammad Rahbar from Nangarhar and Abu Idrees Yousaf from Ghazni. Rahbar played an instrumental role in driving Daesh from its strongholds in Nangarhar before the group assassinated him in April 2021. (20210917)


According to Taliban sources, the special task force aka Red Group Red Unit, part of the Taliban's special forces command, was set up in early October 2015 and has more than 1,000 fighters - better equipped and trained than regular Taliban and with the sole aim of crushing IS. Special ops teams are handpicked for their fighting skills and experience and are active in all provinces where IS has a current or potential presence - including Nangarhar, Farah, Helmand and Zabul. But Taliban special forces will deploy anywhere against IS, leaving other Taliban to fight Afghan and foreign troops.(20151218)

Red Group saw its first operational deployment in Sangin in early 2016. In the summer of that year a Taliban spokesperson reported to media that the Red Group was producing consistently "good" results in actions against the Afghan National Army and discussions were underway about utilizing it for increased operational deployments. The assessment of the unit's potency was echoed by provincial officials in Helmand who described the outfit as "very dangerous and very successful".

The Red Group, which numbers approximately 300, reportedly employs commando tactics and is equipped with "advanced weaponry", including night vision equipment, heavy machine guns, and M4 carbines. According to one analyst, it was unlikely the Red Group was effectively performing traditional special operations missions but were, instead, being used as shock troops or as a rapid deployment force. In 2017 the BBC reported the Red Group commander was Mullah Taqi.[ The previous year, Military Times had reported Haji Nasarv was the unit's commander.


Last Modified 2019-06-13
Established 2017-06-09