Afghanistan could be heading for a civil war, says US general

Taliban are still fighting with the Resistance Front for Panjshir and their government formation announcement is getting delayed

The Taliban on Monday claimed to have captured Panjshir Valley, the last holdout of the anti-Taliban resistance forces. Representative photo: PTI

A US general has warned that Afghanistan could be heading for a civil war, as the Taliban are still fighting with the Resistance Front for Panjshir and their government formation announcement is getting delayed.

General Mark Milley told Fox News that the pace at which the Taliban defeated the Afghan army and captured one province after another has been slowed in Panjshir Valley, where the anti-Taliban forces are being led by Ahmad Massoud and Afghanistan’s former vice president, Amrullah Saleh. With the battle for Panjshir going on, reports of Taliban-Haqqani power tussle has also surfaced, indicating that the Taliban’s rise to power will not be as smooth as it was believed.

On Sunday reports emerged that about 600 Taliban have been killed in Panjshir while more than 1,000 Taliban have been captured. This comes after the Taliban claimed victory over Panjshir. A Taliban source said fighting was continuing in Panjshir but the advance had been slowed by landmines placed on the road to the capital Bazarak and the provincial governor’s compound, Al Jazeera said.

“I think there’s at least a very good probability of a broader civil war,” Get Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.

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The Panjshir leaders have been reaching out to the international bodies highlighting the humanitarian crisis created bythe Taliban.

Gen Milley also said the collapse of the Afghan army earlier in August happened at a much faster rate than was expected.

“The collapse of the Afghan army happened at a much faster rate and [was] very unexpected by pretty much everybody,” he told Fox. “And then with that is the collapse of the Afghan government.”

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