The Pakistani military had taken part in the Taliban’s offensive against resistance forces in the northeastern Afghan province of Panjshir, Fox News foreign correspondent Benjamin Hall reported on September 7.
According to Hall, sources in the US Central Command informed Fox News that the Pakistani military supported the Taliban with combat drones, helicopters and special forces.
“The Pakistani military are assisting the Taliban offensive in Panjshir – Including 27 helicopters full of Pakistani Special Forces, backed up by Pakistani drone strikes,” Hall wrote on Twitter without elaborating.
The Taliban imposed control of Panjshir on September 6 following a quick battle with resistance forces, which didn’t fight back much.
The last day of fighting in Panjshir saw the death of Fahim Dashty, a spokesman for the resistance, and General Abdul Wudod Zara, a commander of the resistance and nephew of late Afghan leader Ahmed Massoud. The Taliban claimed that they were both killed in clashes with its fighters. However, sources in the resistance said that the two were killed in Pakistani drone strikes.
The whereabouts of resistance leader Ahmed Massoud Jr. remains unknowns. The other key figure of the resistance former Vice President of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh has reportedly taken refuge in Tajikistan.
Resistance forces refused to acknowledge defeat. Massoud said that his force, drawn from the remnants of the regular Afghan army as well as local militia fighters, was still fighting.
The reports of a direct Pakistani involvement in the battle of Panjshir were not surprising. As the battle was heating up in the mountainous province, head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence arrived in Kabul supposedly to discuss issues related to the “peace and stability” of Afghanistan.