At Least 15 Taliban Commanders Killed in Recent Afghan Forces’ Operations

(Last Updated On: December 28, 2018)

The Defense Ministry says recently at least 15 commanders of the Taliban have been killed in the Afghan forces’ air and ground operations across the country.

Ghafoor Ahmad Jawid, spokesman of the Defense Ministry said that the slain commanders had been among members of the Taliban’s military commission and Red Unit.

The official stressed that some commanders have been identified as Mullah Manan Niazi, Bilal Zadran, Pir Agha, and Mullah Saifullah.

According to the Defense Ministry, during the operations, several commanders of Daesh also been killed including a spokesman of the militant group named Sultan Aziz Azam.

“Our aerial and ground operations have been increased and we target those who don’t believe in making peace,” Jawid said.  

Citing Afghan military officials, sources in the security institutions, meanwhile, said the Taliban commanders who have been engaged in battle with the security forces are the biggest obstacle to the peace process, and that the move to target the Taliban commanders’ has been taken in a bid to push the armed group into peace talks.

“Of course, we are ready to fight against those figures who are not willing to join peace and disrupting the process,” said Najib Danish, spokesman of the Interior Ministry noted.

This comes as recently appointed two staunch anti-Taliban veterans to head of the Defense and Interior ministries, at a time when the U.S. is urgently pushing for a negotiated peace with the Taliban. The Afghan government — which has felt marginalized in the process — is eager to show that it can sustain military pressure, strengthening its position in peace talks.

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