Colonel Sohrab Azimi, the son of an Afghan general and an officer with an impressive academic record, was famous for his military daring and trained in the United States, and was a field commander in the Afghan Special Forces. “Rebels”, while US forces began withdrawing from the country.
With these words, Pamela Constable – the international correspondent for The Washington Post – report began her on the field situation in Afghanistan, considering that the killing of Azimi, 31, and his entire team of 22 people last Wednesday at the hands of Taliban forces – after they Trapped as they waited for failed reinforcements while defending a base in northern Faryab province – an outpouring of grief, fear and anger unleashed on Afghan social media.
The price of freedom
During a memorial service outside a military hospital in the capital, Kabul, former Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta told a crowd of mostly in uniform, including Azimi’s father, a retired general, “This is the price we pay to defend our country’s independence, freedom and dignity… It will not be allowed Someone to occupy our land or take away our freedom,” before hugging he and the dead man’s father – a former classmate of his – and shed tears together.
Afghan officials confirm – according to the newspaper – that the frequency of Taliban attacks has increased since the administration of US President Joe Biden announced last April that all of his country’s remaining forces in Afghanistan would withdraw by next September 11, and Afghan forces were forced to surrender in some areas. After tribal mediation, while US forces withdrawing from other areas destroyed their bases or stripped them of anything that the movement could use.
The Washington Post report indicates that many Afghans believe that the reduction in US air strikes has caused a heavy loss to ground forces, and some suggest that those strikes would have saved Azimi and his comrades.
Another widespread complaint also rises – the newspaper adds – due to the ongoing disagreements and poor coordination between senior Afghan military officials, which prompted some field commanders – who are in dire need of supplies and food – to seek help on communication sites instead of the official approved channels.
The Washington Post believes that this fragile field situation may also negatively affect the US military’s plans to implement its withdrawal in the coming days and months.
And the newspaper quoted US officials at the Ministry of Defense (Pentagon) – yesterday, Saturday – that discussions are underway that may delay the expected withdrawal of US forces from Bagram base – the largest air base for coalition forces in Afghanistan – until early next July.
Azimi’s father, 67, – who fought the Taliban before they took power in 1996 and previously served as a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense – said that he was disturbed by the poor planning that preceded the dangerous mission carried out by his son and the commandos accompanying him in Faryab, which left them facing death without any support or reinforcements.
Azimi’s father also confirmed that with as many as 50 Afghan districts – out of 370 – being attacked or under the control of the movement; It would have been better for Afghan forces to withdraw temporarily from some vulnerable areas to prevent bloodshed.
The former general stated that he respected President Biden’s decision to withdraw his country’s forces from Afghanistan, but the latter erred in rushing to withdraw only months after US officials signed an agreement with Taliban leaders.
He added, “Taliban elements have come to believe that they are winning.. They have begun to attract thousands of volunteers from new fighters, not to mention external support. They now have much greater capabilities.”
The American newspaper concludes by emphasizing that among the hundreds of visitors – who contacted the Azimi family in recent days after the death of their son – the former classmates of the slain commando leader were more critical of the US withdrawal decision, and some even accused the United States explicitly of abandoning them “for selfish interests and in worst of times.”