Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall of Kundez: The Aftermath

Taliban Announce Withdrawal from Kunduz City. After many days of fighting the Taliban announced that it was ceasing the fight in the city proper to avoid unnecessary deaths among its ranks in with the civilian population. During their brief occupation of Kunduz the managed to free inmates from two prisons, destroy government offices and facilities, and hunting government employees. In addition, they embarrassed the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Read more in "Taliban Withdraw From Kunduz After Days of Fighting", The New York Times, October 13, 2015.

Government Employees and Others Rounded Up? The Taliban did a lot of damage for the few days they occupied the city. Part of their operations involved the rounding up of government employees and others supporting the fight against the Taliban. Read more in "Screams From Northern Afghanistan Have Been Silenced", by Jade Wu, Small Wars Journal, October 12, 2015.

More on Airstrike on Hospital. It appears that US analysts knew that the DWB location was a hospital. According to some sources the facility was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity within Kunduz. The hospital was suspected of being a Taliban command and control center harboring heavy weapons. The Pakistani, believed to have been working for the Pakistan Inter-Service Intelligence directorate, is assessed as being killed in the airstrike. Read more in "US Analysts knew Afghan site was Hospital", Associated Press, October 15, 2015.

Central Asian States Nervous. The Taliban capture of a provincial capital for the first time since 2001 has shaken the the Afghan security forces and Afghan government. Other folks are concerned as well - including the Central Asian countries to the north of Afghanistan (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan). Russia, seemingly engaged everywhere nowadays, is offering their security assistance. Read more in "After Fall of Kunduz, Russia Tries to Shore Up Defenses in Central Asia", EurasiaNet, October 10, 2015. See also "Russian troops could be deployed to Afghanistan's borders as the US leaves", Business Insider, October 15, 2015.

New Governors for Northern Afghanistan. President Ghani has appointed four new governors for northern Afghan provinces. This is in response to the security situation in northern Afghanistan that has steadily deteriorated since 2009. The leadership changes are taking place in Takhar, Faryab, Baghlan, and Sar-i-Pul provinces. Read more in "Can new governors turn the Taliban tide in northern Afghanistan?", IRIN, Octobere 8, 2015.

15 Days of Fighting. It took fifteen days of fierce fighting for Afghan government forces and their US allies to push the Taleban back out of Kunduz City. Read how it happened in "The fall and recapture of Kunduz", by Obaid Ali, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), October 16, 2015.

Aftermath. A Kabul-based Afghan journalist is embedded with the Afghan special forces in Kunduz. He is interviewed about the state of the Kunduz siege in "Kunduz Frontline Report: 10 Days After the Taliban Siege", The Diplomat, October 10, 2015. The U.S. is reportedly making condolence payments for those injured in the air attack on the Kunduz hospital. See a news release on this topic by the DoD on October 10, 2015.

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