• Monday, Oct 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:33 am

Taliban do not want to fight inside Afghanistan's cities

  • Published at 04:21 pm July 13th, 2021
Afghanistan Taliban Offensive
Afghan security personnel stand guard along the road amid ongoing fight between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Kandahar on July 9, 2021 AFP

The group said Turkey's decision to provide security to Kabul airport when US-led forces leave was ‘reprehensible’

The Taliban do not want to battle government forces inside Afghanistan's cities, a senior insurgent leader said on Tuesday, as the militants also warned Turkey against extending its troop presence.

The insurgents have swept through much of northern Afghanistan in recent weeks, and the government now holds little more than a constellation of provincial capitals that must largely be reinforced and resupplied by air.

On Tuesday, the head of a Taliban commission that oversees government forces who surrender to the insurgents urged the residents of cities to reach out to them.

"Now that the fighting from mountains and deserts has reached the doors of the cities, Mujahiddin don't want fighting inside the city," Amir Khan Muttaqi said in a message tweeted by a Taliban spokesman, using another term for the group.


Also Read: Afghan special forces moved in on Taliban, only to find they had melted away


"It is better... to use any possible channel to get in touch with our invitation and guidance commission," he said, adding this would "prevent their cities from getting damaged."

The strategy is one well-worn by the Taliban -- particularly during their first rise to power in the 1990s -- cutting off towns and district centres and getting elders to negotiate a surrender.

In a separate statement Tuesday, the Taliban said Turkey's decision to provide security to Kabul airport when US-led forces leave was "reprehensible.”

"We consider stay of foreign forces in our homeland by any country under whatever pretext as occupation," the group said, days after Ankara agreed with Washington to provide security for Kabul airport.

Rapid changes

As foreign forces wind up their withdrawal -- due to be completed by August 31 -- the situation on the ground is changing rapidly.

The top US general in Afghanistan relinquished his command Monday at a ceremony in the capital, the latest symbolic gesture bringing America's longest war nearer to an end.

The pace of the pull-out -- and multiple offensives launched by the Taliban -- have raised fears that Afghanistan's security forces could be swiftly overwhelmed, particularly without vital US air support.

Around 650 American service members are expected to remain in Kabul, guarding Washington's sprawling diplomatic compound.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday he had agreed with the United States on the "scope" of how to secure Kabul airport.

Peace talks between the insurgents and the government supposedly taking place in Doha have largely fizzled out, and the Taliban now appear set on a complete military victory.

But claims by the hard-line group to control 85% of the country are impossible to verify independently -- and strongly disputed by the government.

Last week in Moscow, a visiting Taliban delegation said the group now controls more than half the country's near-400 districts -- a claim steadfastly rejected by security forces spokesman Ajmal Omar Shinwari.

Still, the situation has alarmed foreign nations, and on Sunday India became the latest country to evacuate some of its diplomats.

On Monday, Russia announced it was relocating some diplomats to Uzbekistan, while China also evacuated 210 nationals from Afghanistan.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail