“Panjshir has a chance to bring down the Taliban”

A military expert assessed the situation in the gorge, where the Afghan opposition to the radical regime gathered ”

The detachments under the command of Ahmad Masud, the son of the legendary field commander Ahmad Shah Masud, gave battle to the Taliban. The area of the Panjshir Gorge has become a stronghold of the last resistance forces, who continue to fight the terrorists in almost complete solitude. According to rumors, they are receiving support from Tajikistan, while the radicals are besieging Panjshir, threatening to kill all its defenders. The expert estimated the chances of the “Masudists” to resist the offensive of the “Taliban”.

Photo: AP

Almost all the resistance units and units of the former Afghan government army laid down their weapons and surrendered. Many soldiers not only handed over weapons and military equipment to the Taliban (recognized as a terrorist movement and banned in the Russian Federation), but also joined the ranks of the group themselves.

The Panjshir Gorge region remains the only hotbed of resistance to the radical regime. Ethnic Tajiks living in this area have formed militia units that are trying to revive the “Northern Alliance” – an alliance of anti-Taliban forces formed in the late 1990s. The defense of Panjshir is commanded by the son of the famous field commander Ahmad Shah Masud-Ahmad Masud. In addition to the local militia, some parts of the Afghan army were under the command of Masud, who retreated into the gorge. The combined resistance forces were able not only to repel the attacks of the Taliban, but also to dislodge them from a number of settlements.

According to some reports, Massoud’s forces receive military support from Tajikistan (the local authorities deny this). However, in Afghanistan itself, the resistance forces have almost no allies left. As the official representative of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on Monday, the group’s forces have taken the Panjshir region under siege. On the eve of the Network, videos appeared on which local residents captured military equipment moving towards the last stronghold of the resistance forces.

A number of media outlets assess the state of the forces of the “Masudists” as critical. Without external support, the new “Northern Alliance” may not last even a few weeks. However, as military expert Alexey Valyuzhenich noted in an interview with MK, it is too early to give up on the resistance forces.

– I have the impression that the Taliban does not fully control the situation even in the occupied territories. Nevertheless, the group does not have enough forces to stand on the borders and in large cities and in areas where an uprising may break out. As an example, there are numerous anti-Taliban rallies throughout Afghanistan. Of course, they are being dispersed, but it is clear that the new authorities are not so strong and they are not afraid of them enough. Plus, they are afraid of the reaction of the”world community”. Therefore, the appearance of resistance units is not surprising. Especially in Panjshir.

– Why do these forces continue to resist, while all the others have surrendered?

– Well, even in the early noughties, the Masudists remained the only distinct force capable of resisting the Taliban. Dostum fled, the Shiites also went underground and only sluggishly fought back. And it was Masud’s people who fought with the Taliban. We can say that the people there are very freedom-loving. They didn’t like the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan – they fought, they didn’t like the Taliban then -they were fighting again. And now they are fighting again. I think that Panjshir is a clear demonstration of the fact that if the Taliban offer minimal resistance, their onslaught immediately weakens. If the Afghan military had not fled, the Taliban would have achieved nothing by military means. There are simply too few of them.

– How do you assess Masud’s chances of creating a new “Northern Alliance”?

– In general, to put it bluntly, they have a chance to really bring down the Taliban while they are still weak. I will explain my idea. Yes, they now hold the whole country in their hands, they have weapons and an entire army. But the situation is shaky. Do you think local Uzbeks, Turkmens, Hazaras, representatives of Pashtun tribes – they will sit and watch? Only the new government will show weakness – it will start having problems. So if the Masudists have enough strength to fight back, then help may come soon. To stand for a day, but to hold out for a night.

– And what are the chances that in the event of a successful Taliban offensive, Masood will escape from the country in a CIA helicopter?

– In general, this whole story with Panjshir is strange. This comrade was able to safely fly away from Kabul, taking with him a solid part of the military equipment. Someone let them do it. Judging by the footage from the Network, they got those few Mi-8 helicopters of the former Afghan Air Force, which were repaired in Ukraine just two or three months ago. It’s just that the Americans had difficulties with repairing this equipment in Russia, and Ukraine was able to repair only part of it. And it was this part that ended up in the hands of Masud. So he definitely gets help from the outside. And apparently from different sides.

Will he escape? I wouldn’t be surprised. Although his father was killed by a Taliban suicide bomber, he did not give up. So it is quite possible to resist until the very end. Yes, and he may simply not be allowed to leave. As far as I understand, they have a blood feud with the Taliban, so the option of surrender is not provided here. So my opinion is that they will fight, in extreme cases, they will go to Tajikistan by mountain trails.

There is a video of a fire at the Kabul airport

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Источник www.mk.ru

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