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The anti-Taliban movement was already operating and occupied a provincial capital

The fight continues

Vice President Saleh recently appointed himself president, citing constitutional continuity, and promising to continue fighting the Taliban with remnants of the Afghan National Army. The movement is also supported by Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and Ahmed MasoudouHe is also the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in the 1990s.

Currently, the militants are only referred to as the “Punjabi Resistance”, as their base has formed in the hard-to-reach Punjab Valley. In their symbols and symbols, along with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan They bear the image of the Northern Alliance.

Russian And Indian News portals now report that a movement known as “Punjabi Resistance” has already launched an offensive and Occupied Csarikar, central Parva مقاطعة district. The Taliban captured the city over the weekend, meaning they were only able to hold it for 2-3 days.

Not only is Sarıkar an important city, it has a population of around 170,000 people It is less than 11 kilometers from Bagram City and the neighboring Bagram Air BaseOne of the former important US bases, Afghan government forces handed it over to the Taliban on August 15, more than a month after it was abandoned by the US in three specific ways.

The impenetrable valley of Panzier

View from the Punjabi Valley. This is not an easy terrain for any invading force. Photo: US Army via Commons

Little is known yet about the exact capabilities of the resistance in the Punjab Valley. Based on photos taken in the area only They might have a few dozen military vehicles and barely a few hundred soldiersBut they are constantly waiting for Afghan soldiers in the area who want to continue the fight.

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On the other hand, Panzer Valley was the choice of the center of the resistance A strategically thought out move. Located in the Hindu Mountains about 150 kilometers from Kabul, the area is rocky and mountainous, difficult to access and thus easy to protect. The Punjab Valley was defended for years by the leader of the Soviet Mujahideen Ahmad Shah from the Soviet invasion forcesLater it was also used as a center to fight the Taliban.

Neither the Soviets nor the Taliban could occupy the area, and it was listed as one of the safest in Afghanistan during the NATO intervention.

3D relief image of the area created by the CIA. The photo was taken in the 80s, at the time of the Soviet intervention. Source: Commons

The Banjir Valley has a population of about 100,000, mostly Tajiks, who are also said to be of the nationalities that make up the bulk of the new anti-Taliban movement. In addition to these, a large number of Uzbeks are said to join the resistance, Abdul Rashid Dostum Mersal One of Afghanistan’s most controversial political and military leaders and an influential former leader of the Northern Alliance. Marshal Dostum fled Uzbekistan to control the Taliban, but is considering returning.

Can the Northern Alliance be revived?

Commemoration of the Northern Alliance and its leaders in Kabul, 2016. Demonstrators carry the organization’s flag with them. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Taliban have reportedly already attacked the Punjab Valley, but former Vice President Salih expects to be able to offer significant resistance to Islamists in the region and hopes his movement will inspire people in other regions as well. So far, it is known that there were demonstrations in Jalalabad against the Taliban regime, but the Islamists dispersed the protesting crowd with guns.

Since the Taliban seized power only a few days ago, it is too early to speculate exactly which areas could join the anti-Taliban movement. The Northern Alliance, as its unofficial name suggests, controlled northern Afghanistan, with the entire 13 provinces under their control. The official name of the organization anyway United Islamic Front to Save Afghanistan They were deeply puzzled by the Taliban before the US intervention in 2001. Later, a number of important officials of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, such as President Hamid Karzai and Marshal Dostum, became leaders of the Northern Alliance.

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The Northern Alliance has long enjoyed the support of many countries in the regionIncluding Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Iran and Russia. It is almost certain that the leaders of the Punjabi resistance will try to get some form of support from these old allies again., but much will depend in this area on how these governments develop a relationship with the Taliban, who declare that they have “changed.” It is unlikely that Russia or Iran – two countries benefiting from the American defeat in Afghanistan – would help the resistance, but it is conceivable (with American urgency) that the leadership of countries with Turkish roots would do so.

To do this, however, the Punjab resistance must first prove that they have support in Afghanistan and are capable of achieving military success. Cesarekar’s occupation is a good start.

Cover photo: A ceremony for one of the Afghan National Army’s special operations units, photo taken before the Taliban took power. Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images