Security

Afghan anger mounts as Taliban seen using Iranian-made sniper rifles

By Omar

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In this undated picture, Taliban militants target Afghan forces with an Iranian-made sniper rifle in an undisclosed location. [Social media]

HERAT -- Images of Taliban militants using Iranian-made sniper rifles in clashes in Herat city have sparked harsh criticism from Afghans across the country.

"Those sniper rifles are used by the Iranian military and made in that country, but in recent days, the Iranian government has provided these weapons to the Taliban," a senior Afghan military official told Salaam Times on condition of anonymity on August 4.

Herat Governor Abdul Saboor Qani confirmed that "neighbouring countries" have been supplying the Taliban with modern weapons.

By supporting the Taliban, he said, these foreign actors aim to damage Afghanistan's infrastructure, weaken the security forces and oppress the general public.

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In this undated picture, a member of Iran's military aims at a target with an Iranian-made sniper rifle. [Tasnim News]

The Iranian regime has been supporting the Taliban for years, but the support has recently become quite obvious, said Sayed Mohammad Kakar, a military analyst in Herat city.

"Iranian-made sniper rifles enable the Taliban to attack their targets from long range, and the Iranian regime and its leaders are responsible for the bloodshed caused by sniper-style rifles," Kakar said.

"A large number of weapons and ammunition are being smuggled to Afghanistan through the Iranian border, and the Taliban use these weapons against the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) and civilians," he said.

The large supply of weapons that the regime is providing to the Taliban shows Tehran's broader motives in Afghanistan, which it aims to implement by prolonging the conflict in the country, he added.

Without the Iranian regime's military support, Taliban insurgents would not be able to fight in the western region even for a week, said Gul Aqa Fadaiee, a military analyst in Qala-e-Naw, capital of Badghis province.

"The Taliban have been using night-vision goggles in combat," he said, adding that such weapons have been provided either by the Iranian regime or by way of Iranian territory.

Iran-backed attacks on Afghan infrastructure

"The Iranian regime is responsible for the bloodshed in Afghanistan by the Taliban," said Sayed Jaffar Hassani, a resident of Lal Sarjangal district in Ghor province.

The Taliban are puppets of the Iranian regime, he said, adding that Taliban attacks on infrastructure, including dams, are a major demand of the Iranian regime.

Knowing the truth, Afghans will never trust Iran's false friendship with Afghanistan, he said.

"Iran's ambition towards Afghanistan has always been hostile, and its goal is the destruction of Afghanistan," said Abdul Wahid Jamali, a resident of Qala-e-Naw city.

"The Iranian regime wants to prevent the construction of dams in Afghanistan by weakening the Afghan government," he said.

Even though the Iranian regime has always called itself a friend of the Afghan government and people, in reality it is the enemy of the Afghan people, he said.

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The Taliban were mercenaries, they are mercenaries and they will remain so. The Taliban are run by the allies' intelligence agencies.

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The Islamic Republic of Iran's relations with Taliban in recent years are certainly justifiable and inevitable, because Tehran's strategic policy in establishing relations with this group is only to create peace, stability and security in Afghanistan. Therefore, we must accept that in the context of peace, stability and security in Afghanistan, Taliban is a reality that cannot be ignored, because any attempt to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan will fail. That is, any effort to bring peace to Afghanistan must be based on Taliban's position. Taliban will form an important part of Afghanistan's future government and have managed to capture about 18 major cities in one week. Now Iran should have strong ties with the group.

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Iran provides military training to Taliban forces on its soil. Meanwhile, reports indicate that Russia and Iran are trying to provide weapons to Afghan Taliban against their armed opponents, such as ISIS.

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The Iranian government's relationships with Taliban have increased in recent years. Iran uses Taliban as its proxy force in Afghanistan, and the country invests on terrorist groups to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. Iran thinks that by cooperating with Taliban, it can use this group against Iran's main enemy, which is ISIS, but in the future, Taliban will be Iran’s enemy as well, because most of Taliban are Pashtuns and Pashtuns have never compromised with Iran in the course of history. From Ahmad Shah Durrani to Mullah Omar, the former Taliban’s leader, were against Iran, and Iran used to support the Northern Alliance, Taliban’s dissidents against the group.

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Iran supports Taliban in Afghanistan, and this is clear like sunlight to everyone. Taliban commanders are currently being treated in Iran, and their families are resided and commuting to that country. Iran considers Taliban as its proxy tool in Afghanistan. Taliban must be clever and sever their ties with Iran if they want Afghan people to love them and obey them in their next government, because Iran is the enemy of Afghans and has not treated Afghans well in the length of history.

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well who would have ever known! so the country is lost by 1/2 in a week. so another week or 2 endgame should be near. best of luck ....great luck countries have that end with "stan". is stan that bad???

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