Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have killed many al-Qaeda fighters in military operations in the past days mainly in the Taliban influenced Farah province, Tolonews quoted Afghan army chief Gen Yasin Zia as saying on Thursday
Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have killed many al-Qaeda fighters in military operations in the past days mainly in the Taliban influenced Farah province, Tolonews quoted Afghan army chief Gen Yasin Zia as saying on Thursday.
Gen Yasin Zia said, “Recently we launched an operation in Taliban controlled area between Nimroz and Farah provinces and killed several of members.” Gen Zia also accused the Taliban of having “close coordination” with al-Qaeda members in the conduct of military offensive.
Recently NDS and ANDSF killed a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader, Abu Mohsin al Misri, in an operation in Andar district of Ghazni province in Afghanistan. The district, he was killed in, has been under the full control of the Taliban since 2018.
Soon after his killing, the Taliban denied any presence of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. “Righ now there is no al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan,” said Taliban’s Doha office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Naeem in an interview with TOLOnews.
The Taliban, under the US-Taliban agreement signed on 29 February, has committed to not allow any terrorist organizations using Afghan soil “to plan or execute terror attacks” against the US and its allies. The draft deal, the one in the public domain, however, doesn’t explicitly ask the Taliban to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other terror entities.
Although, US officials, including the secretary of state Mike Pompeo and US special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, on many occasions asked the Taliban to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist entities.
Abdul Syed, an independent researcher who monitors al-Qaeda in the region, in his recent piece for the Asiatimes said, “The Taliban is still clearly al-Qaeda’s most vital strategic partner in the region.” Yet he expressed doubt if al-Qaeda will Afghanistan to shelter its leadership or to plan and execute terror attacks against the West.