Monday 3 October 2022

Documenting Losses During The September 2022 Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan Border Clash

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
A series of border skirmishes over an old water dispute between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan resumed on the 14th of September 2022 following a series of earlier clashes in April 2021. Tajik forces used tanks and artillery to advance into one Kyrgyz village and shell the town of Batken. Though Tajikistan has the upper hand in artillery assets, Kyrgyzstan for the first time used its newly-acquired Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to strike back at and multiple rocket launchers (MRLs). Possessing no surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems in the area capable of shooting down the TB2 whatsoever, Tajik forces proved highly vulnerable to the invisible enemy above.

The border clashes continued for two days, after which the parties were able to agree to a ceasefire on the night of September 16th 2022, which held for just a day. With both sides unwilling to further escalate the situation, minor skirmishes continued until the 20th of September, when a more lasting peace deal was signed. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan both stated that they would continue efforts to resolve the border issues through peaceful means, agreeing to pull out additional military hardware and forces from the border as tokens of trust.

A list of the destroyed and captured equipment of both sides can be seen below. This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed is higher than recorded here.
(Click on the numbers to get a picture of each individual captured or destroyed vehicle)

Kyrgyzstan (6, of which destroyed: 4, damaged: 1, captured: 1)

Tanks (2, of which destroyed: 2)


Infantry Mobility Vehicles (1, of which captured: 1)

Vehicles (3, of which destroyed: 2, damaged: 1)


Tajikistan (2, of which destroyed: 2)


Multiple Rocket Launchers (1, of which destroyed: 1)


Vehicles (1, of which destroyed: 1)

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