Taliban Uses Hit-and-Run Tactics to Harass Afghan Troops in Kunduz

New Tactic Aims to Prevent Full Takeover of Key Northern City

In the eight days since the Taliban took over the northern city of Kunduz, Afghan forces have repeatedly claimed they have the area virtually retaken. The Taliban has shifted tactics, however, and seems to be holding out in much of the city.

Officials say that the Taliban is suddenly more interested in hit-and-run tactics in Kunduz, attacking troops on motorbikes and quickly disappearing into the residential areas, allowing them to harass the troops trying to advance into the city, and slowing them significantly.

The tactic likely reflects the superior numbers of Afghan troops and the recent addition of US air power into the area, and is aiming to avoid a quick loss, and by extension a quick win by the military, by delaying and hoping to wear out the Afghan forces, who notoriously have questionable morale and not much training.

Kunduz thus remains contested, and likely will be for the foreseeable future. Keeping the city soaking up large numbers of Afghan forces is likely a part of the plan for the Taliban, as it takes pressure off of their southern holdings and may allow them to expand elsewhere in the country without much resistance.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.