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Son of anti-Taliban fighter calls for US weapons assistance

Son of anti-Taliban fighter calls for US weapons assistance

Posted August. 20, 2021 07:40,   

Updated August. 20, 2021 07:40


The son of a national hero in Afghanistan called for help from Western powers, declaring the start of resistance against the Taliban.

“The mujahideen resistance to the Taliban begins now. But we need help,” said Ahmad Massoud, the son of former Afghan Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud, posting an op-ed on The Washington Post on Wednesday.

“My father never forgot this as he fought against the Taliban regime,” he said, emphasizing about how his father was “fighting for the fate of Afghanistan but also for the West” until he was killed by assassins from al Qaeda.

Ahmad Shah Massoud led the armed guerrillas of mujahideen during the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan in the 1980s. His father Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the Lion of Panjshir, led the strongest resistance against the Taliban from his stronghold in the valley northeast of Kabul until his assassination in 2001. His nickname – the Lion of Panjshir – was given to him when he demolished the Soviet Army in Panjshir Valley, the north of Afghanistan. In the face of the emergence of Taliban, Massoud, the then defense minister of Afghanistan, opposed to the jihadists’ Islamic fundamentalism. And on Sept. 9, 2001, two days before the 9/11 attack, he was killed in a bombing by terrorists disguised as reporters at the age of 48. Also know as “Massoud Day,” September 9 is still observed as a national holiday in Afghanistan.

"I write from the Panjshir Valley today, ready to follow in my father's footsteps, with mujahideen fighters who are prepared to once again take on the Taliban," Ahmad Massoud said in his opinion piece on The Washington Post. He said he has long stocked up ammunitions and weapons for this day, stressing he has been joined by former members of the country's special forces and soldiers from the Afghan army "disgusted by the surrender of their commanders.”

“But we need more,” he added, calling on the United States to supply arms and ammunition to his militia to prevent an imminent depletion of military resources. Though America and other allies have left the battlefield, he said “America can still be a great arsenal of democracy” by supporting his fighter while quoting President Franklin Roosevelt from his declaration for the Second World War.

Massoud said the Taliban poses a threat beyond Afghanistan's borders, warning, “Under Taliban control, Afghanistan will without a doubt become ground zero of radical Islamist terrorism.”

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com