Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Talibans Claim Victory at the End of NATO Mission in Afghanistan


KABUL – The Taliban claimed victory on Monday at the end of 13 years of combat mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan (ISAF) and the partial withdrawal of the Atlantic Alliance and the United States troops.

“We have not been defeated, we have not signed any agreement with the United States to conclude the war, then where is the sense that America put an end to the war? This means that the U.S. and its allies have been completely defeated and are fleeing from the battlefield,” the Taliban spokesman Zabiul Mujahid told Efe.

The ISAF mission, which began after the invasion that ended the Taliban regime in 2001, comes to a close after the death of 3,485 soldiers, 2,356 of them Americans, a figure that Mujahid claims to be “double” and said that deaths in their own ranks stand at 20,000.

A ceremony in Kabul on Sunday marked the completion of the gradual withdrawal of international troops and transfers of security from the 350,000 troops to the Afghan army and police which started in 2011.

The official end of the ISAF combat mission will be on Dec. 31 at midnight, but NATO will continue its presence in the country with the “Resolute Support” mission, which will begin on Jan. 1, 2015.

For Mujahid, changing the name of the mission is camouflaging NATO’s defeat so as to mislead the people of their countries for having killed thousands of their soldiers and squandering millions of dollars.

“We still delude ourselves. Our brave nation will continue their holy war until the last foreigner leaves Afghanistan,” said Mujahid, who regretted at having to threaten the Afghan security forces in the absence of any other alternative.

NATO’s mission “Resolute Support” and the Security Agreement signed between Afghanistan and United States sanction the presence of 10,800 U.S. soldiers and another 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers of the Atlantic Alliance against the maximum of 140,000 foreign troops in 2011.

In a statement made public Monday, the Taliban explained that the withdrawal of ISAF shows that perhaps the nations that invaded Afghanistan finally realized that the mission in Afghanistan was “the most idiotic decision of modern history.”

Afghanistan is going through one of the most difficult times since the United States invasion that put an end to the Taliban regime, with a recent increase in insurgent attacks and the number of civilian casualties.


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