At its Umar Khattab training camp, Taliban trains in the snow

The Afghan Taliban is continuing to promote its training camps on social media. Over the weekend, the group publicized its “Military Training Camp Umar Khattab” in a series of photographs that show its fighters training in the snow. The camp is thought to be located in Kunduz province.

The Taliban previously publicized this training facility in a video that was released in July of 2016, however the naming convention was slightly different. Mullah Abdul Salam, who was the Taliban’s shadow governor for Kunduz before he was killed in a US airstrike in Feb. 2017, was featured in that video. [See Taliban shows ‘Omar ibn Khattab’ training camp in Kunduz]

The Afghan military has attempted to wrest the rural areas of Kunduz from the Taliban’s control, but have had uneven results. Its latest offensive in Iman Sahib district temporarily cleared the Taliban from the area, but its fighters quickly returned after Afghan forces withdrew.

The camp is named after Omar ibn Khattab, the second Muslim caliph who was a companion to the Prophet Muhammad. Under Umar’s rule in the seventh century, the caliphate took control of Persia and large areas of the Byzantine Empire.

The Omar ibn Khattab camp is the second promoted by the Taliban in the past week. On Jan. 31, the Taliban issued a video highlighting the activities at the Abu Bakr Siddique training camp. Since 2014, the Taliban has disclosed the existence of 17 training camps.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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