Defense Ministry to Increase Special Operations Forces in Spring

The Defense Ministry is preparing to increase special operations forces to face the Taliban in the upcoming fighting season this spring, Deputy Defense Minister Shah Mahmoud Miakhil said on Tuesday.

Miakhil said that special forces from the army, police and the NDS are preparing together and that no area in the country will face the threat of collapse.

Figures by the Ministry of Defense reveal that the Taliban attacked the centers of seven provinces and the centers of 132 districts in the country since last March, but “their attacks were repelled.”

“Commandos, the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the special units of the National Directorate of Security and the Resolute Support forces who are supporting our Air Force are ready,” Miakhil said.

The deputy minister did not provide data on the Afghan army’s casualties but said that 18,288 Taliban were killed, over 10,296 were wounded and at least 2,225 were arrested by security forces.

“Our commandos, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the NDS special units… and the Air Force were brought under one command. With this, our operational preparation will be doubled and tripled,” Miakhil added.

The Taliban has denied the government claims.

Afghans said they expect improvement in the peace efforts in the upcoming spring.

“Any side’s insistence on fighting will have no outcome except devastation,” said Asadullah Nadim, a former military service member.

“The solution is that efforts should be expedited for peace and permanent ceasefire; otherwise, the Taliban’s show of power will increase,” said Sayed Zahir Masroor, an MP.

Violence was expected to remain low during the peace efforts, but this did not happen. Figures by security agencies show that at least 20 provinces witnessed clashes between government forces and the Taliban over the last 24 hours.

One of the clashes occurred in Logar province when the Taliban attacked a security forces outpost in which nine members of public uprising forces were killed and one more was wounded, according to sources.