För den som är intresserad av det s.k kriget mot terrorismen I Afghanistan som Sverige delta i med soldater har Asia Times en ganska intressant rapport från gränstrakterna. Att amerikanska predator plan för tredje gången i rad attackerat på pakistanskt territorium eller att amerikanska specialstyrkor tränar pakistanska visar om något att kriget håller på att dra in pakistan på allavar.
Rapporten är intressant även om den är på engelska. Förövrigt är det någon som kommer ihåg 80-talet och den sovjetiska styrkor man slogs mot då?
The tribal area that borders the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan is said to be the hiding ground of al-Qaeda kingpins Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and their confidants, and it serves as a vital corridor for the Taliban.
Last week’s drone attack was the third of its kind, indicating that
US intelligence is closely monitoring the area, acutely aware of its importance. The strike had some success, taking out two senior al-Qaeda leaders – Sheikh Osman, know for his amputated hand, and Sheikh Soliman. However, a famous Taliban commander, Dost Muhammad, escaped unhurt.
The heavyweight al-Qaeda members had traveled to Damadolah to instruct a select group of Taliban leaders in the safe use of satellite telephones.
Sheikh Osman in particular was a big loss. He was wanted by the US for his role in al-Qaeda’s global operations as the right-hand man of Dr Junaid al-Jazeri, pin-pointed by Washington as the main engine behind al-Qaeda’s strategies in North Africa and Europe. (Two years ago, in another drone attack on Damadolah, Zawahiri apparently narrowly escaped death after leaving a dinner party early.)
There is fierce debate over how the drone was able to target Damadolah. Pakistani opposition parties allege that Islamabad played a key role in providing intelligence. But the issue is not as simple as that, as will emerge.
Unlike in Helmand province, in Kunar the Taliban do not independently run districts. However, among the craggy outcrops and lush green forests, they have established safe havens and also have the support of large sections of the population. This allows the Taliban to maintain an edge against the American forces in the area by launching daily attacks on their bases, as well as those of the Afghan National Army and intelligence centers.
Kunar and Nooristan provinces also serve as the start of a natural route up to the northeastern province of Kapisa, from where, ultimately, the Taliban hope to enter into Kabul.
All regional intelligence agencies are certain that bin Laden and Zawahiri are still in this area. The US considers it pivotal for the success of the ”war on terror”. The Taliban on the other hand have built all their resources all around this region.
And neither side wants to give up ground.
Finally we arrived at our destination, a village in the Sarkano district, and we made our way to the house of Zubair Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman in Kunar.
The first thing I noticed was a big portrait of a black-bearded man, although it was partly covered by curtain.
”He is my elder son, Abdul Rahman,” Zubair’s elderly father, Enayat, told me.
”He was the pride of the village. He was a Talib. After the US invaded Afghanistan [in 1991], we were approached by the governor of the province through tribal elders that Abdul Rahman should surrender. We were promised that he would not only be pardoned, but that he would be made a commander of the local police setup.
”After a lot of guarantees, we sent him to surrender. He was welcomed by the governor, but American forces then came and he was arrested. Four days later, his dead body was sent to our village. He had been killed through the worst kind of torture. From that day on, this whole village vowed to take up arms to fight against the Americans,” Enayat said.
”Every other month we are offered a truce and friendship, but because of Abdul Rahman’s death, nobody is ready to believe them [Americans]. Once or twice in a month American special forces come to arrest the youths of the village, but they are clever enough to dodge them each time,” Enayat said.
By evening it was clear that the village only comprised elderly women and men, and some children. A few farm workers were the only youths in the area. They were working the main crop of the area – poppy. The village was also full of mulberry trees.
A while later, my contact Zubair arrived and he immediately instructed the farm workers to leave the fields and take up arms in positions in and around the village.