Afghan Army Commanders Ceded Parts of Helmand to Taliban

Commanders 'Introduced' Taliban Leadership to Locals

Previous reports of the Afghan military reaching a deal to cede parts of Helmand Province’s Sangin District to the Taliban have now been confirmed, with the local commanders saying the deal is the sort which is likely across the nation when peace talks are underway on a national level.

The deal was made by local commanders of the Afghan National Army apparently without authorization from higher-ups, who scrambled a delegation to the region to assure locals the deal would not stand.

Despite that the Taliban retain control over the territory in Sangin, and there is no indication the military has attempted to retake the checkpoints it handed over. Locals say that the commanders who announced the deal brought Taliban leaders with them to the marketplace to “introduce” them to the population.

Though both the US and Britain have thrown huge numbers of troops at Sangin District repeatedly, the Taliban has never been ousted from the area throughout the 12+ year occupation, and the commanders’ attempt to cut a deal suggests a realization that there is no number of troops that could clear and hold this territory.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.