Afghanistan is more likely to descend into civil war as confrontations between the Taliban and remaining Afghan forces continue in the Panjshir Valley, on Sept. 4. This is the dire outlook of a top U.S. official.
“My military estimate is that the conditions are likely to develop into a civil war,” U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley said according to Fox News.
Milley does not expect the Taliban to reconcile with the resistance group. He also suspects terrorist organizations could take advantage of the armed conflict to cause even more death and destruction.
“I do not know if the Taliban is going to be able to consolidate power and establish governance,” he said according to the broadcaster. “There is at least a very good probability of a broader civil war and that will then, in turn, lead to conditions that could–in fact–lead to a reconstitution of al-Qaeda or a growth of Islamic State, or other myriad of terrorist groups.”
Sporadic confrontations between the two forces have continued for more than a week. Taliban fighters seem determined to take over the final Afghan province before forming government. The militia group hopes to reveal who will lead this new government shortly.
The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) is led by Ahmad Massoud. Former Afghan vice president Amrullah Saleh and other Taliban opponents have also joined NRF’s freedom fight.
Negotiations are still in progress, and the NRF declared it would not tolerate Taliban attacks on the disputed territory. Massoud refuses to surrender and wants a “power-sharing deal.”
The U.S. general anticipates terrorist groups might emerge in Panjshir in the next three years, if both sides continue to fight. He confirmed America would closely watch how the conflict unfolds.
“We are going to have to maintain very, very intense levels of indicators and warnings and observation and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance over that entire region,” he said.
The United States reserves the option to launch strike operations against potential threats to the Middle Eastern country.
Panjshir Valley is about 134 kilometers (83 miles) northeast of Kabul. The region has been free from Taliban control dating back to the last time fighters seized control of Afghanistan in the 1990s.
The Taliban has already blocked access to phone lines, electricity, and medical supplies across the Panjshir Valley. BL understands this was intended to deprive rebel forces of vital resources.
Emergency, an Italian medical aid organization, revealed Taliban fighters advanced deeper into the valley on Sept. 3. They were near Anabah village where the group’s medical facilities are located at the time of publication.
“We have received a small number of wounded people at the Anabah Surgical Centre,” Emergency said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
An NRF representative vowed to continue fighting for the “rights” of Afghans, women, and minorities.
“The Taliban has to assure equality and rights,” the representative said.