Last month, with the brief advancement of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the final decisive conquest of Kabul, chaos and fear enveloped Afghanistan.Radical fundamentalists took over 33 of the country’s 34 provincesThey lack one: Panshir Province, which provides a clue of hope and defense for Afghans who refuse to hand over power to the Taliban.
Panshir is a valley with about 173,000 inhabitants in the northeastern part of the country. It has 96 kilometers of mountainous terrain and has always been Undeveloped land in the history of conflict That country has. The province resisted 10 Soviet attacks between 1979 and 1989. Between 1996 and 2001, the Panshir Valley was the only territory in Afghanistan that resisted Taliban occupation. It was held this time, at least for now. It has not yet been attacked by fundamentalists.
From there is the heroic jihadist Ahmed Shah Masood, Also known as Leopard LionAn anti-Taliban legend, he led the Northern Alliance until September 9, 2001, two days before Al Qaeda attacked New York on September 11 that year.
Now his 32-year-old son Ahmed Masood, For several days, he has been organizing a resistance front to fight the Taliban With the support of the current self-proclaimed interim president of the country, Amrullah Saleh, Who has not fled the country like most Afghan governments and decided to move to The only province still controlled by the Taliban.
“Me and my comrades in arms We are willing to donate bloodWe call on all free Afghans, all those who refuse to be enslaved, to join our base camp, Panshir, which is the last free area in our troubled land. ” Masood was expressed in the manifesto Published by French magazine La Regle du Jeu.
Saleh was also born in Panshir, and he claimed to be “Legal President” And encourage resistance to the Taliban After the president fled Ashraf Ghani“I will never surrender to the Taliban. I will never betray our commander, guide, and legendary Ahmed Shah Masood. Join the resistance movement,” last Sunday, when Kabul fell into a fundamentalist organization He said on Twitter.
The Afghan people do not respect Saleh as much as they do to him. Leopard Lion, But he once held a position that gave him power. According to reports, his Afghan intelligence agency was established in 2004 and is an important asset of the Central Intelligence Agency. era, He served as Minister of the Interior in 2018 until he was appointed as the first vice president in January 2019.
As the target of several attacks, Saleh survived an attack in 2019 in which more than 30 people were killed in several suicide bombings and attacks on the Afghan government building where he worked.it is One of the five survivors That is in the building.
He is an anti-Taliban figure who is willing to die for the people.This was proved in words in an interview era February of this year: “I am going to 100 bullets in the chest and head Instead of being part of an agreement to sell the rights of my people to a medieval terrorist organization [los talibanes]Now, he proves this by staying in Afghanistan with Masood to lead the last fort that wants to challenge the Taliban.
Solid ground, but no support
Although the valley is surrounded by the Taliban, Panhir’s mountainous terrain is a natural fortress. The problem of fundamentalist radicals. The first examples of opposition to the Soviet Union in the 1980s and the Taliban themselves in the late 1990s confirmed their resistance. In addition, the Panshir people’s history and current determination to prevent Taliban invasions further complicate this. People are unlikely to surrender to the Taliban as they do in other parts of the country.
Since the Taliban arrived in Kabul, 2,500 Afghan soldiers, According to him New York Times, They arrived in Panhill Valley with weapons, tanks and military equipment. Withdraw from all frontsHowever, the number of soldiers and the weapons they have, They don’t seem to be enough Fight against the Taliban.
🇦🇫 Dozens of vehicles marched in Panjshir Province, with the flag of the United Islamic Front flying above them to save Afghanistan. Frontline, better known as the Northern Alliance, was the main resistance organization against the Taliban from 1996 to 2001. pic.twitter.com/dHbS0IPfJB
-Interpreting the war (@descifraguerra) August 18, 2021
The human and material resources they have are pessimistic, but this scarcity is also due to Lack of international support The province did receive it 20 years ago.
Ahmed Masood himself published in Washington post Call for international support this week: “If they attack us, they will be resolutely resisted. However, we know that we currently have insufficient capabilities. He said Son of “Lion of Panhir”——. Unless our western friends find a way to provide us with military resources, the materials will soon be exhausted. We need more bullets and more gunsThe United States and its democratic allies are our last hope. ”
At present, they are the main and only obstacle to the complete conquest of Afghanistan by the Taliban.Time will tell if Ahmed Masood, Amrullah Saleh and Panshir Valley will stay One person in the middle of the Taliban countries Or they become what the Taliban were like before they almost completely controlled it last Sunday: the insurgents.