The First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum says the Taliban is using their full strength on the battlefields but the group will not win and that they will be suppressed by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
He made the remarks in a visit to a security forces outpost in the northern province of Jawzjan – his home province – on Thursday.
Dostum visited three districts of Jawzjan, mainly meeting with security forces on the frontlines and with the local residents.
Dostum’s close aides said that his convoy was attacked by the Taliban few times on the way to the province and after returning from Jawzjan, but the attacks were repelled by his security guards and government forces.
“These fights are not new to us. We know each other from our young ages and we have seen many of these fights,” Dostum said. “The peace talks are underway, and this war is their (Taliban’s) last try for getting leverage [in the talks]. We have defeated such attacks a lot and will defeat this one as well. I have spoken with the President and when I go back, I will report to him about the situation.”
Dostum’s visit to Jawzjan happens as the northern provinces, including Faryab and Jawzjan, have witnessed heavy clashes between security forces and the Taliban.
Reports indicate that in a recent fight in Bilcheragh district in Faryab, 24 Army soldiers were killed. The Ministry of Defense has not confirmed the report.
“Right now, from the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, there is war in most parts of 20 provinces,” said Aziz Wardak, a former military officer.