| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Panjshir Resistance in Afghanistan Claims ‘Al-Qaeda Joined Taliban’

As part of the 2020 peace deal with the US, the Taliban previously vowed not to allow al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to take hold in Afghanistan. That did not stop al-Qaeda from praising the “historic victory” of the insurgent group over NATO forces though.

Forces from the resistance in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan have claimed that al-Qaeda* has joined the Taliban*. The statement, published on Twitter, claims the two organizations joined forces in order to fight the resistance in the Panjshir Valley.

“Al-Qaeda has joined the Taliban to fight against the Afghan Resistance Front. The US retreated, history repeats itself”, the resistance front tweeted.
The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan is holed up in the Panjshir Valley not far from Kabul, where it is currently defending against Taliban forces, who successfully conquered the rest of the country in the wake of the NATO withdrawal. The front rejects the Taliban’s claims for power unless it agrees to form a truly inclusive government that will represent the interests of all groups and nationalities residing in the country. The Taliban previously pledged to form an inclusive government, but is yet to unveil it.

After unsuccessful negotiations with the Panjshir resistance, the Taliban launched an offensive against the valley which enjoys natural protection from the mountainous landscape. The insurgent group reported killing 34 members of the resistance and capturing 11 checkpoints. The National Resistance Front, in turn, claimed to have killed 350 Taliban fighters overnight between 1-2 September.

No Foothold for Terrorist Groups?

The Resistance Front’s claims suggest that the Taliban might have violated the provisions of the February 2020 peace deal with the US. Under it, the Taliban pledged to never again allow Afghanistan to turn into a breeding ground for terrorists, including al-Qaeda. Washington, in turn, had promised to withdraw its troops from the country, which it did on 30 August, four months later than the deadline outlined in the agreement.

US President Joe Biden’s decision to uphold the peace deal negotiated by his predecessor and withdraw troops from Afghanistan has faced harsh criticism from his political opponents and former security and defense officials. Some alleged that the withdrawal might result in the resurgence of terrorist groups in the country and an increase in terrorist attacks against the US as well as other western countries.

One of the leaders of the National Resistance Front, Afghanistan Vice President in exile Amrullah Saleh, claimed in an interview with Fox News that there is no ideological difference between Daesh, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, adding that none of them can be trusted. While Daesh and al-Qaeda seek to establish a worldwide caliphate regulated by the rules of Sharia law, the Taliban publicly says its goal is to establish an emirate based on the same Islamic laws within the borders of Afghanistan.

  • Sputnik