The Taliban released a video today titled “Kunduz and Renewed Resolve” that shows its fighters in control of Afghan security forces’ outposts, captured security personnel, and vehicles and weapons seized during the fighting. The title of the video is a play on the the name of the Taliban’s newly-launched spring offensive, which is called Azm and means resolve or determination. [See LWJ report, Afghan Taliban announces new ‘spring operations’.]
The five minute and thirty-seven second long video was produced by Al Emarah Studio, which is “part of the Multimedia Branch of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Cultural Commission,” the Taliban stated on its website, Voice of Jihad. The video highlights “the recent victories, conquests and war booty attained by Mujahideen in the initial days of annual spring campaign dubbed ‘Azm’ (Resolve/Determination).”
Taliban fighters are shown patrolling in the Imam Sahib district, which is said to be under the group’s control. Taliban fighters are also videotaped inside and outside of several military and police outposts that were captured during the recent fighting.
The Taliban also displayed several US-supplied Humvees used by the Afghan Army and Ford 150 pickup trucks used by the Afghan police that were taken during the fighting. Also shown were captured assault rifles, machine guns, and an assortment of ammunition.
Additionally, the Taliban briefly showed at least 10 Afghan security personnel who were captured. Days after the fighting began in Kunduz, the jihadist group said that it had captured 55 security personnel, most of whom were Arbakis, or members of the tribal police.
The Taliban launched its offensive in the districts of Imam Sahib, Aliabad, and Qala-i-Zal as well as other areas of Kunduz late last week. The jihadist group is said to have advanced to within miles of the provincial capital of Kunduz city. After the Taliban offensive was launched, the head of the provincial council estimated that more than 65 percent of the province was under Taliban control. [See LWJ report, Taliban launch offensive in northern Afghan province.]
The Afghan military is said to have moved forces into Kunduz to counter the Taliban push but, according to a report in RFE/RL, security forces have been unsuccessful in dislodging the jihadist group from the Gor Tepa area in Kunduz city and other districts which fell. The governor of Kunduz told RFE/RL that Afghan forces faced an uphill battle against the Taliban without the support of US troops.
The US and NATO end its combat mission in Afghanistan in December 2014 and the limited number of forces have shifted to an advise and support role. Less than 10,000 US troops and several thousand NATO personnel remain in Afghanistan. As the US withdrew the bulk of its forces last year, the Taliban stepped up operations in southern, western, and eastern Afghanistan and have taken control of several districts and currently contests others throughout the country.
Screen shots from the Taliban video from Kunduz province
Taliban fighters operating at Afghan military bases:
Equipment and weapons seized: