Militia commanders rush to aid Afghan forces against Taliban


Staff member
Militia commanders rush to aid Afghan forces against Taliban
In the last week, the Taliban have overrun areas bordering five countries - Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Pakistan - as foreign forces end their two-decade intervention.
JULY 9, 2021

A prominent anti-Taliban commander with private militia will help Afghan forces in their fight against Taliban insurgents to claw back control over parts of western Afghanistan including a border crossing with Iran, local officials said on Friday. A key district in Herat province, home to tens of thousands of minority Shi’ite Hazaras was captured by fighters of the hardline Sunni Muslim insurgent group on Thursday as part of their strategy to oust Afghan forces and hold sway over critical border towns and trade routes.

A former minister Mohammad Ismail Khan and a survivor of a Taliban attack in 2009 was a key member of the Northern Alliance whose militia helped US forces in toppling the Taliban in 2001. Known as the Lion of Herat, Ismail Khan a veteran Tajik commander is scheduled to hold a gathering to prepare his forces to fight against the Taliban and defend his power base in Herat, an official said, adding that several erstwhile anti-Taliban commanders were supporting the over-stretched Afghan forces to defend borders in the West and the North. Taliban and Afghan government officials were not immediately available to share details about the intense clashes in Herat.