Speed Reads

fighting back

How one anti-Taliban resistance leader is approaching the fight ahead

Ahmad Massoud wants the world to know he is not giving up.

Son of late commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, a famed resistance leader against both the Soviets and the Taliban, Massoud is now spearheading the fight in Afghanistan's Panjshir province, the country's last anti-Taliban holdout.

"Make this known: There is no question of giving up the fight," Massoud told the The Wall Street Journal. "Here in Panjshir, our resistance is just beginning."

"We will never accept an imposed peace," he added, "and we will resist until we achieve justice and freedom." Massoud said thousands of Afghans are joining in the fight, and he will continue to negotiate with the Taliban because "as any human being, I prefer peace over war." He maintained that "the wind may shift" if he receives support "from anyone who is willing," and from the U.S., in particular. "I will never accept an imposed peace for the sake of stability," Massoud told the Journal.

On Monday, an Afghan soldier was shot and killed by an "unknown assailant" in a gunfight outside of Kabul's airport, as the herculean effort to evacuate Americans, foreigners, and Afghan allies continues, writes The Associated Press. Meanwhile, the Taliban have warned that any move to extend the American presence in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline would "provoke a reaction," per Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen. 

The militant group has reportedly begun surrounding Panjshir, and Massoud's fate may now be "uncertain." Read more at The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal.