Operation Khalid beats back Taliban incursions


Afghan troops June 20 patrol during an operation to retake Tora Bora, Nangarhar Province, from ISIS militants. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]

Afghan troops June 20 patrol during an operation to retake Tora Bora, Nangarhar Province, from ISIS militants. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]

KABUL -- The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF)'s Operation Khalid is yielding commendable achievements in 17 provinces, say officials.

"This operation is proceeding successfully, and its outcomes are impressive in Helmand, Nangarhar, Badakhshan, Kunduz and Takhar provinces," Gen. Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), told Salaam Times.

"Zibak District of Badakhshan Province and Qala-e-Zal District of Kunduz Province were cleared from the enemy forces, while the Kunduz-Takhar and Khanabad-Kunduz highways were all reopened during the course of Operation Khalid," he said.

Launched in March ahead of the Taliban's "spring offensive", Operation Khalid has also yielded great successes in Nuristan, Maidan Wardak, Uruzgan and Faryab provinces, Waziri said.

Over the week of May 13-19 alone, ANDSF killed ten Taliban commanders and 760 fighters, according to the MoD.

ANDSF also killed 42 members of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) during Operation Khalid, Waziri said.

Since the launch of Operation Khalid, "ANDSF have killed more than 100 Taliban and ISIS commanders in addition to more than 3,000 other militants," MoD deputy spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanesh told Salaam Times.

ANDSF destroyed 12 Taliban command centres and several of their drug and explosives production facilities, he said.

"The biggest achievement of Operation Khalid has been to deny the Taliban success in their Operation Mansouri," Radmanesh said, referring to the Taliban's name for their spring offensive.

Stopping the Taliban in their tracks

"At the beginning of spring season ... the Taliban were trying to seize control of a number of provinces, including Kunduz," Masuda Karukhi, a member of parliament representing Herat Province, told Salaam Times.

"Fortunately, by launching Operation Khalid ... Afghanistan's security forces prevented the opposition forces from succeeding," she said.

Despite some security setbacks, such as a string of terrorist attacks in Kabul during Ramadan, ANDSF were able to prevent the Taliban and ISIS from seizing more territory, said Nawid Mowahhed, a private university student in Kabul.

"There was concern throughout last winter that Taliban and ISIS militants would launch a massive operation at the beginning of spring in order to capture some areas and to make the country less safe than ever before," he told Salaam Times. "They were defeated, however, thanks to the outstanding performance of the Afghan security forces."

If the Afghan government wants to provide security to the entire country, it should not wait until the militants attack before trying to stop them, said Col. (ret.) Abdulghaffar Gardizi, a security analyst in Kabul. Rather, the government must be in a state of readiness.

"The operations that have been launched by the security forces must continue until they have destroyed the opposition," he told Salaam Times.

Operations will continue until the destruction of the Taliban, ISIS and all other enemy groups, confirmed Waziri.

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We wish success for the Afghan forces.