Today, the Taliban announced that they will begin their “Spring Offensive” against U.S. led security forces in Afghanistan. According to Al Arabiya News, the Taliban will begin their attacks starting as early as Friday.
“The main targets of these operations… will be the foreign occupiers, especially their permanent military bases… officials of the stooge regime, their military constellations, especially their intelligence, interior ministry and defense ministry officials,” said the Taliban in a statement to Agence France-Presse.
In previous years the Taliban has coordinated suicide bombings and insider attacks against U.S. backed forces, the Afghan Military and diplomatic targets.
The Taliban also went on to say, “the enemy, with all its military might, has been overwhelmed and finally forced to flee from their military bases.” The Taliban believes that the withdrawal of the U.S. fighting force in Afghanistan is a sign of defeat. Since the withdrawal, Taliban attacks and civilian casualties have increased.
According to a Chinese news source, “Three people including a senior security official were killed as two bomb blasts rocked Afghanistan’s eastern Nanagarhar province on Wednesday, spokesman for provincial government Ahmad Zia Abdulzai confirmed.
One of those killed in the deadly blasts is a senior provincial intelligence official named Ghulam Haidar Haidari after his vehicle ran over a roadside bomb planted by militants on a road in Behsud district at around 9:30 a.m. local time today, according to the official.”
The United Nations reported an almost 30 percent rise in civilian casualties in the first quarter of this year compared to last year. According to Reuters, “President Barack Obama on Tuesday [24MAR2015] granted Afghan requests to slow the drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and said he would maintain a force of 9,800 through the end of 2015 while sticking to a 2017 exit plan.”