‘Taliban’s strategic goal is to take a provincial capital’: RS

(Last Updated On: October 22, 2016)

rsTaliban militants are likely planning to perform high-profile attacks to capture a provincial capital as the end of the year is coming soon, a spokesman for the Resolute Support (RS) mission said on Friday.

“What we know is that the fighting is not over. We fully expect that the Taliban is absolutely going to take another run at Lashkar Gah, and that could happen very soon. They’ll likely try and take a run at Tarinkot and then maybe another provincial capital as well,” Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, RS deputy chief of staff for communications said while briefing reporters through a teleconference from Kabul on Friday.

He further said that it is fully expected that Taliban militants are going to perform high-profile attacks in Afghanistan in the near future as they recognizes the end of the year is coming soon.

Cleveland added that Taliban’s strategic goal is to take a provincial capital, but they have been defeated by the Afghan forces.

“While the ANDSF efforts has not been always perfect, they have been able to successfully defend each of their major population centers and each of their provincial capitals,” he continued.

According to the RS mission, the international forces are trying to help the Afghan forces improve to face the challenges ahead.

Meanwhile, the RS mission spokesman said they have carried about 230 counterterrorism strikes since the beginning of 2016.

“Our airstrikes are focused on Daesh as well as Al Qaida. So, about two-thirds to three-quarters of those are focused on Daesh and then the remaining amount on Al Qaida,” Cleveland stated.

In response to a question on how many strikes have taken  against the Taliban Brig. General Cleveland said,” we are not authorized to target the Taliban by status. What we are able to do is number one, our first authority is always force protection”.

Reported by: Fahim Noori

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