Taliban and infiltrator attacks rose 37 percent and 82 percent, respectively, during the first quarter, according to the U.S. Watchdog.
Deadly attacks on the Afghan army have increased in the first quarter of the year, with privileged attacks increased by 82% as US and NATO troops begin to withdraw from the country after 20 years, according to a U.S. surveillance agency.
In a quarterly report released on Friday, the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR) found that attacks on Afghan security forces, mainly by the Taliban rebel group, increased by 37% during the period. January to March a year earlier.
Privileged attacks, that is, when security forces are attacked by Taliban infiltrators within their ranks, jumped 82% and casualties doubled, the report read without specifying.
“The complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and U.S. defense contractors from Afghanistan will test whether the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces can stand up and defend the Afghan government without direct U.S. military support. and the Coalition, ”the report said.
US President Joe Biden announced in mid-April, the decision to withdraw US forces in September, postponing the May 1 deadline reached in agreement by the previous Donald Trump administration and the Taliban.
The SIGAR report did not specify the total number of victims, saying the data is classified.
But according to U.S.-led military coalition figures, it was said that 115 Afghan soldiers were killed and 39 wounded in 31 privileged attacks during the first three months of this year.
Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 and the subsequent overthrow of the Taliban government, the activities of armed groups have shrunk and begun to grow again as the conflict has spread for about 20 years. Now, as the withdrawal date approaches, even U.S. officials acknowledge being publicly in the dark about the Taliban’s strength.
“By many measures, the Taliban are in a stronger military position now than at any time since 2001, although many formerly public metrics related to the conduct of the war have been classified or no longer occur,” he read. the report.
It was estimated that the Afghan government controlled only 54% of these districts in October 2018, the lowest number since public monitoring began in November 2015. Of the other districts, the government of The United States described 34% as respondent and 12% as rebel. control.
The report noted that the Afghan government, and in particular the Afghan security forces, remain highly dependent on US support, both financial aid and labor.
“The basic risk facing the current Afghan government and any possible post-peace is whether future levels of foreign assistance during this period of uncertainty will be sufficient to prevent its collapse,” said John Sopko, head of SIGAR .
The withdrawal will involve about 2,500 members of the U.S. service, 7,092 more forces from the U.S.-led coalition and 16,832 civilian Pentagon contractors who were in the country in early April.
Some contractors are crucial in keeping the Afghan army plane flying, according to the report.
A recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported fighting across the country, with some 90,000 people internally displaced since the beginning of this year alone. Since 2012, some 4.8 million people have been displaced from their homes and have not returned to a 38 million country.
Nearly 50,000 Afghan civilians have been killed along with more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers in the 20 years of war, the longest foreign war for the United States.