Speaking to the Associated Press today, top Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) figure Wali-Ur Rehman declared that while his forces are still determined to reclaim South Waziristan from the Pakistani military, he has also planned to send “thousands” of TTP fighters to Afghanistan to fight against the US surge.
US military spokesmen dismissed the comments as “rhetoric,” claiming that they have not noticed any significant movement in the border areas. Yet the nebulous hold the US has over much of the border leaves one wondering: would they even notice?
Rehman was reported killed as recently as August, but has come out of his untimely demise as one of the most powerful figures in the TTP, second perhaps only to Hakimullah Mehsud, who was reported slain several times since August, with security forces even claiming Rehman killed him once.
Concrete figures on the size of the TTP leaderships’ personal forces have never been available, and the group has prided itself on a very decentralized way of doing things, so it is unclear if Rehman even has thousands of fighters on hand to send. Still he, like most of the TTP’s top men, has come out of the South Waziristan invasion virtually unscathed, so the possibility remains. If true, it could prove yet another problem for the US escalation, already struggling to fend off the growing power of the Afghan Taliban.
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