GUIDANCE

What to Watch For Amid Reports of an Anti-Taliban Movement in Afghanistan

MIN READAug 18, 2021 | 19:16 GMT

Armed men supporting Afghan security forces against the Taliban stand along a road in Panjshir on Aug. 18, 2021.

Armed men supporting Afghan security forces in the fight against the Taliban stand along a road in Panjshir on Aug. 18, 2021.

(AHMAD SAHEL ARMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Several unconfirmed reports indicate former Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, the son of the renowned Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, are rallying anti-Taliban forces in the former Northern Alliance stronghold of the Panjshir Valley -- bringing into question the Taliban’s ability to govern the entire country mere days after seizing Kabul. Saleh declared himself as the “caretaker president” of the legitimate government of Afghanistan on Aug. 15 after former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the wake of the Taliban’s capture of Kabul. The following day, photos emerged of Saleh meeting with Massoud in the Panjshir Valley, which has repeatedly proven difficult terrain to conquer and remains outside Taliban control. Some reports suggest Afghanistan’s former defense minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, is also joining Saleh and Massoud, in addition to several other former Northern Alliance fighters and elements of the Afghan security forces. Saleh had close...

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