The Taliban confirmed that it met with a high-level delegation of US officials in Qatar, and quashed news reports that the group wanted the Afghan government to postpone the April 2019 presidential elections and establish an interim government.
The Taliban is more than happy to negotiate the terms of US withdrawal — but if and only if an accord is reached on its terms. Because if a so-called peace agreement can be reached, you can be sure it will be one that will not benefit the Afghan people, the US, or the region.
While the Treasury designation focuses on the four Iraqis’ links to Hezbollah, which is described as “a terrorist proxy for the Iranian regime that seeks to undermine Iraqi sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East,” it practically ignores the fact that one of them is the Secretary General of the Imam Ali Battalions, or Kata’ib Imam Ali, a key component of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an official military arm of the Iraqi state that reports directly to the prime minister.
Another company of the elite Special Forces commandos was overrun, this time in the once impenetrable district of Jaghuri in Ghazni province. Afghan forces are being besieged by the Taliban on a daily basis.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is the name of the Taliban’s government before the US deposed it after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack by al Qaeda. The Taliban insists that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan be restored and recognized as the true representatives of the Afghan people.
The Taliban said that the Moscow conference serves as a propaganda and diplomatic coup for the group, as it has sought international legitimacy for its cause. It reitered that it refuses to negotiate with the Afghan government and is seeking the withdrawal of US forces.
All but three of the border policemen manning the outpost were either killed or captured, according to reports. The base in Farah is just the latest to fall to the Taliban.
The Taliban continues to press its successful attacks on the Afghan security forces even as they withdraw from more remote areas to defend more populous areas.