Ahmad Massoud, the son of famous Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud and one of the leaders of the resistance against the Taliban has published an article in The Washington Post to ask for Western assistance in the struggle with the Islamists.
Massoud, who is described by The Washington Post as the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, and Vice President Amrullah Saleh are concentrating their forces in the Panjshir province to resist the Taliban after the latter seized Kabul and other parts of the country.
The resistance forces have already recaptured the Charikar area in the Parwan Province north of Kabul from the Taliban.
“America and its democratic allies do not just have the fight against terrorism in common with Afghans. We now have a long history made up of shared ideals and struggles. There is still much that you can do to aid the cause of freedom. You are our only remaining hope,” Massoud wrote in the article.
He stressed that the resistance forces have stores of ammunition and arms as well as soldiers of the Afghan army disgusted by the surrender of their commanders.
“No matter what happens, my mujahideen fighters and I will defend Panjshir as the last bastion of Afghan freedom. Our morale is intact. We know from experience what awaits us. But we need more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies,” Massoud said.
The commander noted that millions of Afghans were sharing Western values.
“We have fought for so long to have an open society, one where girls could become doctors, our press could report freely, our young people could dance and listen to music or attend soccer matches in the stadiums that were once used by the Taliban for public executions — and may soon be again,” Massoud added.
— Prolific News (@ProlificGlobal) August 18, 2021
Housing Afghan Refugees at US Bases Raises Transparency, Accountability Issues – Advocate
Afghan refugees should not be kept on military bases because it may lead to transparency and accountability issues with respect to treatment and living conditions, Border Network for Human Rights Executive Director Fernando Garcia told Sputnik.
At least 22,000 Afghan refugees will soon be housed at two additional US military bases, including Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, according to US defense officials.
Meanwhile, the United States and Qatar were reported to be finalizing an agreement to temporarily house some 8,000 Afghan nationals who worked with the US military, including 1,000 due to arrive soon.
“It’s going to bring a lot of issues for us,” Garcia said. “I strongly believe refugees don’t belong in a military base, so there’s multiple issues about that: transparency, accountability, conditions.”
President Joe Biden came under fire this week after the footage went viral of chaos at the Kabul airport as the US rushed the evacuation of civilians and refugees in the wake of the Taliban takeover. On Tuesday, photos emerged showing some 600 Afghans crammed wall-to-wall in a US Air Force C-17 transport plane that was en route from Kabul to Qatar.
This was in addition to videos and photos of Afghans falling from military aircraft that were preparing to take off.
The El Paso-based immigrant rights group is in the early stages of talks with the US Office of Refugee Resettlement about plans to help Afghan refugees when they arrive at Fort Bliss, Garcia said.
At the moment there is no information about when the Afghan refugees will arrive at Fort Bliss or how many are expected to arrive, he added.
The Hope Border Institute, another El Paso-based migrant rights group, told Sputnik they have requested information from a few federal agencies about the number of Afghan refugees who will be received at Fort Bliss and their status, but they also have not received any answers.
“There is no current refugee resettlement agency in El Paso so local organizations and advocates are looking into how we can best support them, but without more information from the federal government, there is little that can be done,” Hope Border Institute Deputy Director Marisa Limon Garza said.
Fort Bliss currently houses several thousand undocumented migrant children who came to the United States without a parent or other legal guardian. Whistleblowers have complained about poor conditions at the federal facilities on base.
There are currently about 2,000 Afghan refugees in Virginia’s Fort Lee military base.
Meanwhile, several other countries said they would accept Afghan refugees including the UK (20,000), Canada (20,000), and North Macedonia (450), among others. India intends to provide visas and shelter to Afghan refugees, but they have not said how many they would take in yet.
On Sunday, as the US forces move close to finishing their withdrawal, the Taliban completed their takeover of Afghanistan by entering Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country to prevent what he described as bloodshed that would occur if militants had to fight for the city.
This development has left many people trying to leave the country out of fear of reprisals from the radical movement.