A top Afghan commander has said that 77,000 Taliban militants are battling the Afghan government – more than double the estimates from US and Afghan officials about insurgent strength. The apparent surge of militants, although refuted by some, would also reflect poorly on the US’ bombing campaign, which has ramped up since March, Sputnik News reported.
“It is proven that 77,500 enemies, of whom 5,000 are foreign fighters and 3,000 are Daesh militants, are carrying out activities against our country’s peace and stability,” Afghan General Laal Jan Zaheer told Tolo News for a story published June 11.
NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, under which the United States operates in the country, said in January that determining the number of Taliban forces in Afghanistan is limited to “informal assessments and conjecture, as there is no formal tracking or census mechanism.”
In September, 2017, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) noted that “Resolute Support estimated there were between 25,000 and 35,000 full and part-time Taliban fighters in Afghanistan at the end of the quarter.” Read More