Anti-Taliban Force Retakes Districts in Northeast Afghanistan

Taliban intends to send hundreds of fighters to contested Panjshir Valley

While more or less the entire country of Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in a little over a week, there are still some areas, centering on Panjshir Valley in the northeast, where anti-Taliban forces are trying to rally and reverse the trend.

Reports out of the Baghlan Province, adjacent to the valley, say the fighters managed to take three districts from the Taliban. They claimed they intend to take the whole province in short order.

This Panjshir force is made up of remnants of the military, militias, police, and other anti-Taliban fighters. The Taliban says they are sending hundreds of fighters to the area to assert control.

The remnant fighters say they are preparing for a long-term conflict, though there are many who are holding out hope for negotiations. The group’s spokesman says the goal of talks is decentralization. He added the goal was to defend Panjshir first and foremost.

The remnant force is estimated to be about 6,000 fighters. That’s not insubstantial, but the Taliban victories throughout the country have left them with a much bigger force. Whether that’s enough of a deterrent to make some sort of deal remains to be seen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of