Insider attacks by Taliban infiltrators in security forces rise 82%: report
Deadly insider attacks on the Afghan military surged in the first quarter of this year as Taliban rebels took advantage of the upcoming US and NATO troop withdrawal, according to a US government report released on Friday.
The quarterly report of the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR) indicates that attacks on Afghan security forces, mainly by the Taliban rebel group, increased by 37% between January and March compared to a year earlier.
Notably, insider attacks – when security forces are targeted by Taliban infiltrators in their ranks – have soared 82%, and their losses have doubled, according to the report, which does not specify the total number of victims, claiming that the data is classified.
But according to coalition figures, 115 Afghan soldiers were killed and 39 wounded in 31 internal attacks in the first three months of this year.
But he made it clear that the attacks threatened the stability of the Afghan government after the withdrawal of thousands of US troops and civilian defense contractors by September, as ordered earlier this month by President Joe Biden.
He noted that the Afghan government and in particular the Afghan security forces remain heavily dependent on US support, both in terms of financial aid and manpower.
“The fundamental risk facing the current and potential Afghan government after the peace is whether future levels of foreign aid during this uncertain time will be sufficient to prevent its collapse,” said John Sopko, head of SIGAR.
Meanwhile, dozens of Afghans who worked as interpreters in often fatal conditions with the US military on Friday expressed fears of being targeted by the Taliban after US troops returned home, and they urged Washington not to leave them behind.
‘Don’t leave us behind’
Interpreters met in Kabul on the eve of the start of the official withdrawal of troops from Washington – although forces have been reduced for months.
“The main thing we want is for us to be taken to the United States. This is what we were promised, ”said Mohammad Shoaib Walizada, an Afghan interpreter, who worked with US forces between 2009 and 2013.
The withdrawal will involve approximately 2,500 US military personnel, 7,092 other US-led coalition forces and 16,832 civilian contractors for the Pentagon who were in the country at the start of April.