Afghan resistance led by deposed Vice-President forming, Russia says

‘The Taliban doesn’t control the whole country’: SAS-trained Afghan commandos join armed guerrilla resistance movement led by deposed Vice-President Saleh in Panjshir Valley

  • Russian Foreign Minister confirmed armed resistance is forming in Afghanistan 
  • Speaking today, Sergei Lavrov said the force was gathering in the Panjshir Valley 
  • Group led by deposed vice-president Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, the son of a slain anti-Taliban fighter
  • Resistance includes SAS-trained commandos, regular soldiers and local people

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has confirmed that an armed resistance to the Taliban, which includes SAS-trained forces, in Afghanistan is forming in the Panjshir Valley.

Speaking today, the Russian official also confirmed that the resistance force was being led by deposed Vice-President Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, the son of a slain anti-Taliban fighter.

Reports claim that among the fighters headed to the region are members of the SAS-trained Afghan special forces, believed to be the best of the best that the Afghan military has to offer. 

‘The Taliban doesn’t control the whole territory of Afghanistan,’ Lavrov told reporters at a press conference in Moscow following a meeting with his Libyan counterpart.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has confirmed that the armed resistance to the Taliban in Afghanistan is forming in the Panjshir Valley

Speaking today, the Russian official also confirmed that the resistance force was being led by deposed Vice-President Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, the son of a slain anti-Taliban fighter

Pictured: An Afghan man supporting the Afghan security forces against the Taliban stands with his weapon slung over his shoulder in front of a line of armoured vehicles

‘There are reports of the situation in the Panjshir Valley where the resistance of Afghanistan’s vice president Mr Saleh and Ahmad Massoud is concentrated,’ he said. 

Lavrov also reiterated his call for an inclusive dialogue involving all political players in Afghanistan for the formation of a ‘representative government’.

The Panjshir Valley northeast of Kabul is Afghanistan’s last remaining holdout, known for its natural mountainous defences.

According to images shared on social media, Saleh and Massoud, the son of slain Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, are pulling together a guerrilla movement to take on the Taliban.

Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s most famed anti-Taliban fighter, on Thursday said he was ‘ready to follow in his father’s footsteps’, as he rallied his forces in the Panjshir Valley northeast of Kabul – the country’s last holdout. 

Massoud is the son of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the famed anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban resistance leader assassinated in 2001, two days before the September 11 attacks on the US.

‘The Taliban doesn’t control the whole territory of Afghanistan,’ Lavrov told reporters at a press conference in Moscow following a meeting with his Libyan counterpart

The Panjshir Valley northeast of Kabul is Afghanistan’s last remaining holdout, known for its natural defences

Pictured: A group of men in the Panjshir province work together to examine a weapon

Also reportedly headed for the Panjshir Valley to join up with the resistance are a group of Afghan special forces soldiers.

The troops, who are believed to have been trained by the SAS, are thought to be the best fighters available in the country and had been trying to hold the line against the Taliban, The Sun reports.

The commandos and special forces soldiers, who are now being hunted by the Taliban, are believed to be making their way to the Panjshir region to join up with the resistance group forming there.

A source told The Sun Online that thousands of fighters are headed to the region – which boasts strong natural defences – as well as groups of local people who want to join the fight. 

Also reportedly headed for the Panjshir Valley are a group of Afghan special forces soldiers (stock image)

The troops, who are believed to have been trained by the SAS, are thought to be the best fighters available in the country and had been trying to hold the line against the Taliban (stock image)

The source said: ‘It is not ordinary resistance. It is the resistance of thousands of trained forces who are familiar with every inch of the soil and who has excellent experience in fighting the terrorists for the past 20 years.

‘I am not going to die before destroying Taliban. We will fight till the last bullet.’

Moscow has been cautiously optimistic about the new leadership in Kabul and is seeking contact with the militants in an effort to avoid instability spilling over to neighbouring ex-Soviet states.

While the United States and other countries rushed to evacuate their citizens from Kabul, Russia said its embassy will continue to function.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday that the Taliban are ‘actively restoring order’ and have demonstrated their ‘intent to dialogue’.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) was speaking earlier today when he revealed that the resistance had started forming together

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday that the Taliban are ‘actively restoring order’ and have demonstrated their ‘intent to dialogue’

Pictured: Armed Afghan men sit on top of an armoured vehicle in the Panjshir Valley

She said at her weekly press briefing that the militant group – known for its severe treatment of women – is ‘ready to take into account the interest of citizens, including… women’s rights’.

Earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov met with the Taliban in Kabul, hailing on state television a ‘positive and constructive’ meeting.

The Kremlin has in recent years reached out to the Taliban – which is banned as an ‘extremist’ group in Russia – and hosted its representatives in Moscow several times, most recently last month.

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