Lethal expert attacks versus the Afghan army jumped in the first quarter of this year as Taliban rebels took advantage of the coming American and NATO troop withdrawal, according to a United States government report Friday.
The quarterly report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said attacks on the Afghan security forces, primarily by the Taliban rebel group, rose 37 percent over the January-March duration from a year previously.
Notably, insider attacks– when security forces are targeted by Taliban infiltrators within their ranks– jumped 82 percent, and casualties from them doubled, according to the report.
The report did not define the general number of casualties, stating the information is categorized.
However according to union figures, it said, 115 Afghan military personnel were killed and 39 injured in 31 insider attacks in the first three months of this year.
However it made clear that the attacks threaten the stability of the Afghan federal government after the withdrawal of countless US soldiers and civilian defense specialists by September, as ordered earlier this month by President Joe Biden.
Afghan National Army soldiers search males at a roadway checkpoint on the borders of Kabul. AFP/ WAKIL KOHSAR
It kept in mind that the Afghan government and particularly Afghan security forces remain extremely based on United States support, both financial aid and workforce.
” The complete withdrawal of US troops and US defense specialists from Afghanistan will check whether the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces can sustain themselves and safeguard the Afghan federal government without direct United States and Union military assistance,” the report said.
” The standard danger dealing with the existing and any potential post-peace Afghan federal government is whether future foreign support levels during this unpredictable period will suffice to prevent its collapse,” said John Sopko, the SIGAR head.
The pullout will include around 2,500 US service members, 7,092 other forces in the US-led union, and 16,832 civilian contractors for the Pentagon who were in the country at the beginning of April.
Some contractors are crucial to keeping the Afghan armed force’s airplane flying, the report kept in mind.
It likewise noted a decline in Afghan civilian casualties in the first quarter, with 643 killed compared to 711 a year earlier and 932 in the fourth quarter of 2020, based upon figures from the NATO side of the union.