Taliban Claims Victory in Panjshir; Opposition Says Fighting Continues

Taliban forces claim governor's compound

Days of heavy fighting in Panjshir Valley, the home of the last major holdout forces in Afghanistan, seem to be wrapping up, with the Taliban claiming complete control of Panjshir Province, and releasing photos of their fighters at the governor’s compound.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid declared the war over, saying this amounted to a complete victory. The Panjshir remnant forces were what was left of the Ghani government that continued fighting after the fall of Kabul.

The remnants have denied that this is the case. Leader Ahmed Massoud has gone missing, but says he is safe and that his fighters are still fighting in several areas around the valley. This comes just a day after Massoud claimed that there were deals for a ceasefire and talks with the Taliban.

Talks reportedly happened as early as Saturday. No deals seem to be imminent, and with the Taliban in a winning position, the main reason for them to make a deal is international favor.

Panjshir is known for resistance to outside forces, and may be a struggle to rule, deal or no deal. It will likely be a major challenge even if the remnant force is ultimately wiped out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.