The Taliban has besieged the pro-government forces located in the Afghan province of Panjshir, according to the official representative of the movement Zabihullah Mujahid. The claim was made a day after the Taliban sent hundreds of fighters to impose control of the Panjshir Valley, where Afghan resistance forces have been amassing under the commander of Ahmad Massoud jr.
On August 23rd, Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that Taliban forces had taken up positions in the Badakhshan, Takhar and Andarab regions near Panjshir.
“The enemy is under siege. We are striving for a peaceful settlement and are trying to resolve the issue through negotiations, ” – he claimed.
Banu, Pol-e-Hesar and Deh Salah districts of Baghlan province that were reportedly taken by resistance forces came under the Taliban’s control. According to the leader of resistance Massoud jr., the districts were seized by local militia groups reacting to the “brutality” of the Taliban in the area.
Mujahid also noted that the Salang pass on the borders of Panjshir was free.
A terrorist with Pakistan nationalaity who was trying to enter Panjshir been killed by People’s Resistance Forces, today.
The video of the incident 👇
His Pakistani ID in next tweet… pic.twitter.com/LrWvG0a0dv
— Natiq Malikzada (@natiqmalikzada) August 23, 2021
Panjshir that is mainly populated by the ethnic Tajiks remains the last large area beyond the Taliban’s control. U.S. and its allies may consider Panjshir as a “fortress” against the Taliban. After the fall of Kabul, Massoud jr. headed the local armed forces.
In response, the Taliban made a public appeal through the Russians, declaring their readiness to resolve the conflict peacefully. According to the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Dmitry Zhirnov, one of the top Taliban officials came to the Russian embassy on August 21, claiming that the group was ready for a dialogue with Saleh, asking Moscow to transfer their public appeal to Panjshir officials.
As there was no response from Panjshir commanders, the Taliban claimed that their fighters were moving to the region to take it under their control.
Meanwhile, the opponents of the Taliban in Panjshir declare their readiness to fight the Mujahideen. According to reports, they have up to six thousand fighters in their ranks, including some regular units of government troops, as well as heavy weapons.