Taliban fighters entered the last holdout province of Panjshir on Sunday, as the top US general warned that Afghanistan was facing a wide-ranging civil war that would offer fertile ground for a resurgence of terrorism.
The Taliban are trying to crush resistance forces defending the mountainous region after last month’s rapid Afghan military route – and celebrations when the last US troops left on Monday after a 20-year war. Panjshir Valley.
Tea Taliban, Which revolved around Kabul three weeks ago at a pace that analysts say may have surprised even hardline Islamists themselves, has yet to finalize its new government.
But US General Mark Millie questioned whether he could consolidate power because he wanted to move from guerrilla force to government.
“I think there is at least a very good chance of a wider civil war,” Milli, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a blurred assessment.
He told Fox News on Saturday that “this could lead to conditions that could in fact lead to the reorganization of al-Qaeda or the rise of ISIS (Islamic State group).”
Afghanistan’s new rulers have vowed to be more sociable than in their first term, which came after years of conflict – first the Soviet invasion in 1979, and then a bloody civil war.
She has promised a more “comprehensive” government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic make-up – although women are unlikely to be included at the top.
But a few in Panjshir, a rugged valley north of Kabul, who have been fighting for almost a decade against the Soviet occupation and the first Taliban rule during 1996-2001, seem to trust their promises.
Taliban official Bilal Karimi reported heavy fighting in Panjshir on Sunday, and while resistance fighters insist they have Islamists, analysts warn they are struggling.
The Italian aid agency Emergency said Taliban forces had reached the village of Panjshir in Anaba, where they run a surgical center.
“Many people have fled local villages in recent days,” Emergency said in a statement on Saturday, adding that it was continuing to provide medical services and treat “a small number of injured”. ۔
Anaba is about 25km (15 miles) north of the 115km-long valley, but unconfirmed reports indicate the Taliban have seized other areas as well.
Bill Rojio, managing editor of the US-based Long War Journal, said Sunday that while the “fog of war” remains – the Taliban have seized several districts with unconfirmed reports – “it feels bad.”
Both sides have claimed heavy damage to each other.
“The Taliban army has been hardened in the 20-year war, and make no mistake, the Taliban trained an army,” Rojio tweeted on Sunday.
“After the withdrawal of US troops and the elimination of the ANA, the Taliban were given large quantities of arms and ammunition,” he added.
Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh who is with Panjshir. احمد مسعود The son of legendary Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud warns of a dire situation.
In a statement, Saleh called for a “massive humanitarian crisis”, with thousands being “displaced by Taliban attacks”.
The Panjshir Valley, which is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, offers a natural defensive advantage.
The United States invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the first Taliban government since al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks in 2001, which had taken refuge in the country.
Western governments now fear that Afghanistan could once again become a haven for extremists who are bent on attacking them.
Washington has said it will maintain its “excessive” ability to deal with any threat to its security in Afghanistan.
The international community is ready to deal diplomatically with the new Taliban government.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship is in Qatar on Monday, a key player in the Afghan story and the Taliban’s political office, although he is not expected to meet with the militants.
He will then travel to Germany with German Foreign Minister Heiko Moss to chair a 20-nation ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also set to convene a high-level meeting on Afghanistan in Geneva on September 13 to focus on humanitarian aid for the country.