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Afghanistan - The New 'Northern Alliance’ Resistance Has Already Fallen Apart

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Yesterday I explained why I assume that Britain is trying to incite a new 'Northern Alliance’ insurgency against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But as today evolved that project, just three days after it went public, is dead.

Yesterday the anti-Taliban Long War Journal claimed that the insurgents were already making progress:

The nascent resistance to the Taliban that has organized in Panjshir province has launched a counteroffensive against the Taliban and has taken control of four districts in two neighboring provinces.

The Panjshir resistance force, which is flying the flag of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, took control of Dih Saleh, Andarab, and Puli Hisar districts in eastern Baghlan province, as well as Charikar in Parwan. The resistance is led by former Vice President and National Directorate of Security chief Amrullah Saleh [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, After fall of Kabul, resistance to Taliban emerges in Panjshir].

Anti-Taliban fighters “captured those [four] key districts and are threatening the Taliban’s control of the highway to the north,” a source within the resistance told FDD’s Long War Journal. They also claimed to take “all of Andarab back.”

The news from Afghanistan about that fight was murky and difficult to confirm. It seems that the insurgents shortly occupied one district center while there was inconclusive fighting around two others. About a dozen Taliban were said to be dead together with a number of insurgents. I would not trust any 'source within the resistance’. The Saleh/Massoud gang is already known for making implausible and exaggerated claims:

Gareth Browne @BrowneGareth - 17:05 UTC · Aug 19, 2021
Just spoke with Ahmad Massoud in Panjshir. He says 000s of Afghan soldiers, special forces, and 47 pilots have taken refuge in the Panjshir valley since last week, bringing with them 000s of humvees, 4 helicopters. Calling for international support. Story soon @TheNationalNews

Still the LWJ authors were cautiously optimistic:

While the Panjshir resistance’s odds remain long, if it is able to open a lifeline to neighboring countries and receive international support, it stands a chance to not only divert and disrupt Taliban operations but create a groundswell of interest that could lead to a larger campaign with more sustainable momentum.

That a connection to a neighboring country would help the insurgents is, in my opinion, a misperception. Russia and China would come down hard on, for example Uzbekistan, if it would allow its border to be used to support the insurgency. Every neighbor country of Afghanistan now has an interest in a united Afghanistan at peace. That is why any insurgency against the Taliban will have no chance.

The Russian ambassador to Afghanistan agrees:

Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan praised the conduct of the Taliban on Friday in the days since its takeover, saying there was no alternative to the hardline Islamist group and resistance to it would fail.


Russia wants to ensure that the instability in Afghanistan does not spill over into Central Asia, part of the former Soviet Union it regards as its own backyard, and that the region does not become a launch pad for other extreme Islamist groups.


Speaking to Reuters from Kabul by Zoom, Zhirnov said the security situation in the capital was much better than it was before the Taliban took control of it and spoke optimistically about the future.

"The mood in Kabul can be described as one of cautious hope," said Zhirnov.

"There was a bad regime which disappeared and people are hopeful. They say it can’t be worse so it should be better. But this is another test for the Taliban to pass. After they restore order, they should start improving the socio-economic situation," he said.


"We can’t wave reality aside. They (the Taliban) are the de-facto authorities. There is no alternative to the Taliban in Afghanistan," said Zhirnov.

The son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, one of the main leaders of Afghanistan’s anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s, has pledged to hold out against the Taliban from his stronghold in the Panjshir valley north of Kabul.

Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh has also said he is in Afghanistan and the "legitimate caretaker president" after President Ashraf Ghani fled.

Zhirnov said Saleh’s declaration violated the constitution and that Panjshir-based attempts to resist the Taliban were doomed.

"They have no military prospects. There are not many people there. As far as we know they have 7,000 armed people. And they already have problems with fuel. They tried to fly a helicopter but they have no petrol and no supplies," he said.

The tribal elders in Panjshir valley agreed with the ambassador that further fighting would mean doom. A few hours ago Pajhwok News reported (machine translation):

Ahmad Shah Massoud’s son gives Panjshir leaders a plan to resolve issues with Taliban

KABUL (Pajhwok): Ahmad Masood, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, has given a plan to the Panjsher elders to resolve issues with the Taliban, a source said on Sunday.

And therewith at least half of the the insurgency packed up and made peace.

Dr. Drexluddin Khan Spiveyzai Kayani (Drexy Baba) @RisboLensky - 10:58 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Reports that Massoud Jr. agreed not to attack #Taliban forces in #Panjshir surrounding after Abdi-Karzai mediation (possibly Rabbani and other Massoud’s gave a nod too). But I think that in province Jamiat is not the only group present

Paktﻯawal @Paktyaw4l - 11:12 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

There is disunity & verbal conflict between Amrullah Saleh factions & elders in Panjshir advising Massoud junior. #Panjshir

• @QOMANDON - 12:14 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Senior Taliban Commander Jalil Haqqani calls Ahmad Shah Massoud a martyr and hero, and announces that his son Ahmad Massoud gave bay’ah to the Taliban yesterday

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Will the Washington Post print another Ahmad Massoud op-ed in which he announces that?

Without the symbolic figure of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s son as leader of a new 'Northern Alliance’ the insurgency will have no chance to gain national or international support. He was the public relations front of the short campaign. But the elders of Panjshir valley told him to end the nonsense and so he did.

The intellectual fraudster Bernard Lévy, who has jinxed any resistance he ever supported, will be quite disappointed.


While its over for Ahmad Massoud his pal Amrullah Saleh wants to continue.

Paktﻯawal @Paktyaw4l - 13:36 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Not fully confirmed, but #Panjshir surrenders, while Amrullah Saleh’s faction still preferring war & fighting.

Amrullah Saleh on his own has no chance at all. The CIA trained former head of the brutal Afghan intelligence agency is not known to have any genuine local base of support. The elders of Panjshir will not allow him to use their valley as his base. He’d better pack up his money and, like former president Ashraf Ghani, get his ass out of the country before someone takes personal revenge on him.

Apropos Ghani - this must hurt:

Sangar | سنګر پیکار @paykhar - 1:58 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Former president #Afghan Ashraf Ghani’s brother, Hashmat Ghani met Khalilurahman Haqqani and pledged allegiance to the Taliban Amir Haibatullah Akhundzada. Now the former presidents own brother is officially part of the Taliban.

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And while I am at it here is one more on the 'bad, bad anti-women Taliban’ campaign. Yes, there will be restrictions for women. But these are workable and not too different from those elsewhere.

Omid Sobhani @OmidSobhni - 10:38 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

#Taliban Statement on #Herat University, #Afghanistan

1. Female students can continue their studies in all-female classes, considering Islamic Hijab

2. All male & female staff of university can resume their works

3. Male students can come with their previous outfits (anything)

4. There will be a discussion on the curriculum of some subjects such as ‘Law’ in the beginning of next semester.

5. An envoy of Emirate will be designated as director in each faculty. The rest of employees can continue their normal jobs.

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