Fighting Continues in Panjshir Valley, Remnant Leader Ready to Talk

Taliban claims to have captured every district

Fighting continues in Afghanistan Panjshir Valley, where remnants from the old government have been contesting control of the area with the Taliban. After the remnants clustered in this area during the fall of Afghanistan, they were trying to expand outward, reclaiming territory before the Taliban sent reinforcements.

Now there are massive numbers of fighters in play, and the clashes are unrestrained. This has lead to heavy fighting, large casualties, and by Saturday, the Taliban claimed to have captured every single district, fighting now for the provincial center.

The remnant fighters are claiming to have surrounded the Taliban, and captured hundreds of them in the fighting. They were also suggesting the Taliban is in full retreat in Panjshir, abandoning equipment in Khawak Pass.

The Taliban vastly outnumbers the remnants, and its clear the fighting can’t go on forever. To that end, the clerics in the area are pushing for a ceasefire, and it seems like respect the remnant claims of progress, they’re open to the idea.

Indeed, remnant leader Ahmad Massoud has announced his side welcomes proposed settlements and that he is fully ready to talk to the Taliban. A big obstacle to the talks may be that the two sides can’t seem to agree to what the status quo even is, whether the Taliban has all but won the war or the remnants are continuing to drive them back.

Either way, it seems a Taliban win is all but inevitable, and the real reason for the Taliban to make a deal is its international standing after decades of war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.