The district Yamgan in in Badakhshan has been under siege for several months before falling to the Taliban today.
The Taliban has taken credit for 17 attacks per day against Afghan security forces. Despite promises from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Taliban would “destroy” Al Qaeda, the Taliban has not lifted a finger against the group.
Additionally, the group’s leader, Qais al Khazali, and his brother, Laith al Khazali, have been listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Both Qais and Laith were in U.S. custody up until the withdrawal from Iraq in December 2011.
The deadly assault in Zabul takes place as U.S. military officials continue to ponder if the Taliban’s drumbeat of daily attacks is part of the group’s overall strategy or the efforts of a “splinter” cell.
The U.S. military wonders if a “splinter” Taliban groups is responsible for attacks that are occurring in nearly every Afghan province. Meanwhile, the Taliban is claiming the attacks in its own name.
The Taliban has launched attacks in 27 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces against Afghan security forces since it signed an agreement with the U.S. that ensures American troops withdraw from the country.
In a religious ruling, the Taliban said it “shall continue waging armed jihad” until it establishes the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with its emir, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, in charge.
The agreement signed by the U.S. and the Taliban made no such stipulations that the Taliban must halt attacks on Afghan forces. Yet the U.S. military is surprised that the Taliban is striking Afghan forces.