With the arrival of the cold season and typically reduced insurgent activity, the Ministry of Defense, or MoD, said on Sunday that Afghan security forces operations against militants have risen over the past two months.
The Ministry of Interior said the number of joint operations in the past eight months was higher than the total number of operations last year.
But the Afghan security agencies said the Taliban has not reduced the level of violence, even with the arrival of the cold season.
“The operations by National Defense and Security Forces are underway and they have inflicted high casualties on the enemy,” MoD spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said.
A recent report by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR), indicates that Afghan forces’ casualties have increased by five percent amid a rise in violence in the first quarter of 2019.
“They cannot defeat the government. The conflict and calamity will continue, but nothing will come of it. But, ultimately, peace will come,” military affairs analyst Atiqullah Amarkhil said.
According to the Ministry of Interior, 2,331 joint military operations were conducted in the past eight months while last year it was less than 2,000 operations.
“The security and defense forces operations have increased this year. This year, the enemy has been suppressed and weakened more than any year,” Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said.
The SIGAR report, citing TAAC-Air, says the Afghan Air Forces’ average monthly flight hours this quarter (July 1 through September 30, 2019) increased by about 19 percent compared to the last reporting period (April 1 through June 30, 2019).
“The National Defense and Security Forces in Kunduz decided to launch a large-scale operation in Kunduz to suppress the enemy,” said Nabiullah Mirzaee, Commander of 207 Pamir Corps.
Others await clearing operations: “Helmand requires a widespread operation to help displaced families to go back to their homes,” said Attaullah Afghan, the head of Helmand Provincial Council.