The Taliban blocked off all roads leading into Bala Murghab district, overran 11 security outposts and put an Afghan National Army company stationed there to rout. They also killed 44 Afghan security personnel and captured another 190, and advanced to within one kilometer of the district center.
Despite repeated claims to the contrary, al Qaeda has not been defeated in Afghanistan, and it still continues to operate alongside its ally, the Taliban.
If the current pace of strikes continues, the US will strike Shabaab 130 times in 2019. Is this a prelude to disengagement?
If the past is any guide, the efforts are merely eyewash to placate Western governments in the wake of major terror attacks emanating from Pakistani soil. Pakistan has claimed it has shut down JuD offices and detained its top leaders in the past, only to allow the offices to reopen and the leaders free months later.
If Pakistan was sincere about tackling terrorists groups and their leaders and operatives, Khalil would be at the top of the target list. Instead, he has been welcomed with open arms into Imran Khan’s political party.
The US Department of State added Harakat al Nujaba, an Iranian-supported Shiite militia which operates in both Iraq and Syria, and its leader, Akram ‘Abbas al Kaabi to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Kaabi has pledged loyalty to Iran’s Supreme Leader and has said he would overthrow the Iraqi government if ordered to do so.
For years, Pakistani officials and military commanders have denied the existence of terrorist groups operating on Pakistani soil, and concurrently claimed that they are taking action against the same non-existent terrorist groups.
While Afghan and Coalition officials claim the assault was “repelled,” the Taliban clearly entered the base and inflicted casualties on Afghan forces.