NewsAn Afghan warlord who steadfastly resisted the Taliban surrendered....

An Afghan warlord who steadfastly resisted the Taliban surrendered. Others may follow his lead.

-

[ad_1]

KABUL, Afghanistan — A prominent Afghan warlord and former governor, who had resisted Taliban attacks in western Afghanistan for weeks and rallied many to his cause to push back the insurgent offensive, surrendered on Friday, officials said.

The surrender of the warlord, Mohammad Ismail Khan, is particularly important for the Taliban because he commanded a force that potentially posed a threat to the insurgents in the western region of the country — perhaps even a greater threat than Afghan government forces.

Mr. Khan’s surrender could kick off a trend among warlords and regional power brokers such as Mohammed Atta Noor, who is trying to defend the economic hub of Mazar-i-Sharif in the country’s north and has rallied militias for the city’s defense. During the civil war in the 1990s, it was common for warlord commanders to switch sides at the first sign of opportunity or survival.

Mr. Khan was a young army captain when the Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1979. He rose to prominence after joining the mujahedeen, the U.S.-backed insurgents who fought against the Soviet-supported Communist government in his home of Herat.

He fought against the Taliban in the 1990s as part of the Northern Alliance in western Afghanistan. He was captured by the Taliban, and spent about two years as their captive.

See also  Blindsided Abroad: Vaccinated But Testing Positive on a Trip to Europe

Mr. Khan, now in his 70s, picked up his rifle last month, mobilized his militias, and fought alongside Afghan security forces in an attempt to push back the Taliban offensive on Herat, the capital of the province with the same name and the country’s third largest city.

See also  Blindsided Abroad: Vaccinated But Testing Positive on a Trip to Europe

He became a national celebrity for his steadfast resistance against the Taliban and thousands of Afghans commended him for his leadership against the insurgents, posting his photos on social media, calling him the “Lion of Herat.”

He initially succeeded, and pushed the Taliban fighters out of the city, but his battlefield victories were not enough to prevent its fall.

The Taliban finally seized control of Herat on Thursday night after a two-week siege, forcing Mr. Khan, top government officials and forces to retreat to the provincial airport and the army corps outside the city.

Mr. Khan and senior security officials including a deputy for the interior ministry, an army corps commander and an intelligence director, along with thousands of government forces, surrendered to the Taliban this morning.

The Taliban’s online media outlets later shared a video of Mr. Khan after the surrender.

“I hope all brothers can create a peaceful environment, so the war ends and we can have peace and stabilization in Afghanistan,” Mr. Khan told a member of the Taliban, from the back of a vehicle.

The fall of Herat, and the surrender of thousands of forces, come after the insurgents captured over half of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in just over a week. Among the fallen cities are the strategic southern Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city, and Kunduz, a commercial hub in the north.

See also  Your Tuesday Briefing

It was a dramatic reversal for Mr. Khan, who was appointed as Herat governor after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, then served as a cabinet minister during Hamid Karzai’s presidency.

See also  Russian Disinformation Targets Vaccines and the Biden Administration

Along with other warlords, he was sidelined by President Ashraf Ghani, who once publicly dismissed Mr. Khan as not even being worth meeting.

[ad_2]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

How to write an essay on religion

First, what is a religious essay? Religion is both interesting and thought-provoking. It has existed since the beginning of human...

How to Be a Better Christian: 5 Important Tips

As a Christian, you believe in all the goodness that God has brought into your life, but it can...

How to Save Money With Your Family

Saving money is never easy, and saving money as a family can be even more difficult. If you’re interested...

Watch livescore football and become a professional in your favorite game

A new season in the Spanish championship has started. Now, you can follow all the competitions from the world...

Your Thursday Briefing

We’re covering the Taliban’s violent response to protesters and Israel’s Covid surge despite high vaccination rates.The Taliban met...

Garth Brooks cancels tour dates due to Delta variant

The country superstar on Wednesday said he's canceling the next five stops on his tour, the last of...

Must read

How to write an essay on religion

First, what is a religious essay? Religion is both interesting...

How to Be a Better Christian: 5 Important Tips

As a Christian, you believe in all the goodness...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you