Al Qaeda-linked group praises Taliban 'victory' in Afghanistan

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Aleppo [Syria], August 20 (ANI): An al Qaeda-linked group in Syria has lauded the Taliban "victory" in Afghanistan, and compared the terror group's control of the majority of the country with the early Muslim conquests.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, also known as HTS is the powerful faction in rebel-held parts of northwest Syria, expressed hope that terrorists in Syria will also be victorious by learning from the experience of the Taliban, Fox13 News reported.

In a statement released late Wednesday, HTS said "no matter how long it takes, righteousness will end up victorious." It added: "Occupiers don't last on usurped lands no matter how much they harm its people."

Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch too congratulated the Taliban on their takeover of Afghanistan, and vowed to continue its own military campaigns

Taliban had sheltered Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden during its rule from 1996 until 2001.

Experts have raised concerns that Afghanistan might again become a breeding ground for terrorism with the Taliban taking control of the country.

Last Sunday, the Taliban captured Bagram Air Base and the prison there, and "released thousands of prisoners, including many senior Al Qaeda operatives," Axios reported. "The prisoners were some of the Taliban's most hardened fighters and could pose a threat not only to Afghan citizens but to American security interests."

CNN reported that an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 prisoners were left behind following the withdrawal. The Bagram prison, Pul-e-Charkhi, was the biggest in Afghanistan and included a maximum-security cell block for Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "the United States could now face a rise in terrorist threats from a Taliban-run Afghanistan,"

The U.K.'s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, reportedly shares Milley's concerns noting that Bagram's prison housed "5,000 'highest value' Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters captured on the battlefield.

Wallace cautioned that Afghanistan may again someday "harbour terrorists as they plot against the West." (ANI)

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