The Taliban continues to demonstrate that it can conduct concurrent operations across the country, while Afghan forces largely remain on the defensive. The district of Khamab in Jawzjan has gone back and forth between Taliban and government control over the past several years.
Taliban spokesman Zahibullah Mujahid denounced Trump’s decision to remain engaged in Afghanistan and said that Taliban fighters will “sustain our Jihad.” Additionally he repeated the canard that the Taliban does not pose a threat to foreign countries.
With words unprecedented for a US president, Trump called out Pakistan for harboring and supporting terrorist groups that target and kill US citizens and said there would be a radical change in policy toward the South Asian nation. Trump indicated the US would work to increase ties with India, Pakistan’s neighbor and greatest enemy, a move sure to both enrage as well as frighten Pakistani elites.
The Taliban, which continues to make inroads in Kandahar province, released a video flaunting a bounty of weapons, ammunition and military equipment after it overran bases and outposts in Khakrez and Shah Wali Kot.
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced three more strikes on Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia and East Africa, over the past two days. All three took place in Shabaab-held territory.
The brief designation omitted Hizbul Mujahideen’s support for al Qaeda in the past, as well as its relations with other jihadist groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. Hizbul Mujahideen’s emir was officially listed as a global terrorist in June 2017.
The Afghan Taliban has again retaken control of the district of Ghormach in Faryab province. The remote district has changed hands twice in less than two years.
The commander, known as Abdul Rahman, was a candidate to take control of Khorasan province after the US killed the previous emir last month.