Afghanistan’s president and the Commander in Chief of Afghan army Ashraf Ghani has reached Mazar-e-Sharif to save the country’s fourth largest city, the soul of Afghanistan. For the last few days, the city has been besieged by Taliban fighters. Fierce fighting is underway between the marauding Taliban and the Afghan army backed by a militia of powerful warlords.
Ghani and two iconic veteran warlords, former Vice President and Uzbek leader Marshall Abdul Rashid Dostum and former governor of Balkh, Atta Mohammad Noor along with local tribal leaders have a comprehensive plan to save the city as well as recapturing the other areas of the province.
President Ghani meets Marshal Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor during visit to Mazar-i-Sharif city to discuss equipment and mobilization of public uprising forces under the umbrella of security and defense forces. pic.twitter.com/XKt4EWvXfC
— Dr. Ibrahim Khalil (@bazai_ibrahim) August 11, 2021
Prior to Ghani’s arrival, Dostum was flown in with his hundreds of commandos for the defence of the last anti-Taliban stronghold in the north of the country. For Ghani, collapse of the city will be a catastrophic blow for him as well as the Afghan army.
“Taliban will meet the same fate in the north of the country as they did before – like Mullah Fazel,” said Marshal Dostum, adding that Taliban have not learned anything from their past experiences in the north. Dostum, the Uzbek leader, promised that the security situation in the north would change for the better soon, and the people of Afghanistan would see the “sworn enemy” defeated.
#Balkh: Taliban will meet the same faith in the north of the country as they did before – 'like Mullah Fazel', said Marshal Dostum, adding that Taliban have not learned anything from their past experiences in the north. #SanctionPakistan #SanctionOnPakistan #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/LlLFDn4xqQ
— RTA World (@rtaworld) August 11, 2021
Amid the criticism from the West, especially from the US Defence secretary Lloyd Austin that the fighting “is not going the right direction” and now Afghans are on their own, the Afghan Commander-in-Chief, Ghani has decided to build a new defence centre in the north to manage the fighting in the northern provinces. The northern provinces of the country are strategic and sensitive in all respects, If this area falls to the Taliban, the country will face a terrible economic situation. Aware of the dire situation, Ghani has replaced his army chief with Hibatullah Alizi. Sami Sadat had been appointed commander of the Special Operations Corps.
After the meeting with Ghani, Ata Mohammad Noor confirmed the establishment of the North Zone Command and Administration Centre in Mazar-e-Sharif. “There were also detailed discussions on weaknesses and vulnerabilities, shortcomings and deficiencies, providing telecommunications and Muharram’s necessary preparations for the next steps of the war,” he said.
“The people's resistance front has taken shape and they are fighting the enemy alongside #ANDSF in the province, says Atta M Noor, former governor of the province,” he told RTA World.
#Balkh: The people's resistance front has taken shape and they are fighting the enemy alongside #ANDSF in the province, says Atta M Noor, former governor of the province. #SanctionPakistan #SanctionOnPakistan #Afghanistan #Afghan_lives_matter pic.twitter.com/QPRiIbxPbL
— RTA World (@rtaworld) August 11, 2021
On Tuesday, Noor challenged the Taliban that commanders & soldiers, the devoted public resistance forces & ex-Mujahideen are ready for fight with them.
“We hear the enemy is planning an attack on #Balkh. Have asked the uprising forces to be standby alongside the #ANDSF. The enemy will regret if commits a mistake. Assure the people of our resistance until the last drop of my blood. I prefer dying in dignity than dying in despair.”
We hear the enemy is planning an attack on #Balkh. Have asked the uprising forces to be standby alongside the #ANDSF. The enemy will regret if commits a mistake. Assure the people of our resistance until the last drop of my blood. I prefer dying in dignity than dying in despair. https://t.co/2V6acIOCD5
— Ata Mohammad Noor (@Atamohammadnoor) August 8, 2021
According to Afghan media, Batur Dostum, son of Marshall Dostum and Khaled Noor, son of Atta Noor are already on the frontlines, fighting the Taliban.
Tajik leader Noor commands a personal militia with thousands of fighters. Once the governor of Balkh province, of which Mazar-e-Sharif is the capital, he effectively still runs the province. As head of Jamiat-e-Islami, one of Afghanistan’s strongest parties, he wields influence across the north. Now united to fight the Taliban, he and Dostum, once bitter rivals, have buried the hatchet. The other warlords of the region who have joined them are, Abdur Rasool Sayyaf and Habibullah Rahman Orfan who have sworn to defend Mazar-e-Sharif.