Taliban Resistance Force Forming in Panjshir Valley

The leader of the resistance penned an op-ed in The Washington Post calling for US support

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The Taliban now controls virtually all of Afghanistan, but about 70 miles north of Kabul in the Panjshir Valley, the son of a well-known mujahideen commander is trying to form a resistance force against the group.

Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, wrote an op-ed published Wednesday in The Washington Post titled, “The mujahideen resistance to the Taliban begins now. But we need help.” Massoud said his fighting force has arms but warned they would “rapidly depleted unless our friends in the West can find a way to supply us without delay.”

Amrullah Saleh, who served as Ashraf Ghani’s vice president, has joined Massoud in Panjshir. After Ghani fled Afghanistan, Saleh declared himself the “caretaker president” of the country. “We have lost territory but not legitimacy,” Saleh told The New York Times. “I, as caretaker president, upholder of the Constitution, don’t see the Taliban emirate either as legitimate or national.”

The FDD’s Long War Journal labeled Panjshir province (light blue triangle) as controlled by the “Panjshir resistance”

For now, Saleh is calling for peace talks with the Taliban. “Should the Taliban be ready for meaningful discussions, we will welcome it,” he said. “If they insist on military conquest, then they better read Afghan history.” Saleh did not tell the Times how many fighters are in Panjshir, but some former Afghan officials estimated it was somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500.

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