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Taliban announce spring offensive against coalition troops

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Taliban announce spring offensive against coalition troops

2011-04-30 23:40:29 GMT+7 (ICT)

KABUL (BNO NEWS) -- The Taliban has announced it will launch a spring offensive against coalition forces in Afghanistan on Sunday, which the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said would have 'no lasting impact'.

The announcement of a spring offensive comes as the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan is about to enter its tenth year. The war began in October 2001 in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and aims to defeat the Taliban and other insurgent groups in the country.

A statement from the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name for the Taliban, said its spring offensive will be called "Badar", a reference to the Battle of Badr in 624 AD, which was a key battle in the early days of Islam.

"With the approach of the spring, the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants to declare the launching of the spring military operations christened as 'Badar' to be waged against the invading Americans and their foreign Allies and internal supports," the statement said.

The Badar operations, which the Taliban said would begin on Sunday, will target military bases, places of gatherings, airbases and military convoys of coalition forces. "Throughout the operations, the target of [Taliban] attacks must remain foreign invading forces, members of their spy networks and (other) spies, high-ranking officials of the Kabul Puppet Administration, both military and civilian, members of the cabinet, members of the parliament, Heads of foreign and local companies working for the enemy and contractors," the group said.

Although Taliban operations often cause civilian casualties, the statement said its militants should minimize civilian casualties during the operations. "Strict attention must be paid to the protection and safety of civilians during the spring operations by working out a meticulous military plan," it said.

The statement further calls on Afghan civilians to avoid gatherings, convoys, and centers of coalition forces and called on Afghan officials to distance themselves from the coalition before the spring offensive begins.

"The Spring Operations of Badar have been launched for the purpose of protecting the tenets of Islam and the religion from the claws of the invaders and salvaging the country and people from the foreign colonialism because the foreign invaders have committed unlawful aggression against the sovereignty of our country," the Taliban said. "Therefore, the war in our country will not come to an end unless and until the foreign invading forces pull out of Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) considers this its legitimate right and religious obligation to defend its religion and country."

But Major Sunset Belinsky, a spokeswoman for ISAF, said the Taliban offensive is aimed to gain a propaganda victory. "This violence will have no lasting impact in light of the gains Afghan and coalition forces have made through the winter," she said. "We have increased our security posture because of a credible threat of coordinated insurgent attacks."

Belinsky said the Taliban and other insurgent groups think attacks can exert power, relevance and influence over the Afghan population. "These are, in fact, a sign of their impotence and desperation," she said. "We expect violent attacks, intimidation, and cowardly targeting of civilians to continue. The insurgents will try to exploit these attacks and recent events to attempt to undermine the transition process and create the perception that [Afghan National Security Forces] cannot sustain security."

ISAF said it will support the Afghan government in its efforts to protect citizens from attacks and noted that insurgents have suffered 'increasing setbacks' over the past several months.

"Insurgents have suffered increasing setbacks over the past several months, losing weapons caches, being pushed out of historic sanctuaries, suffering the loss of thousands of insurgent fighters and hundreds of leaders, and witnessing the increased pressure from more than 100,000 additional Afghan and coalition forces in the field," Belinsky said, adding that Afghan forces are increasingly taking responsibility for the defense of the country.

Earlier this month, an ISAF airstrike in northeast Afghanistan led to the death of a major al-Qaeda figure who was the number two overall targeted insurgent in the country. ISAF said his death marked a 'significant milestone' in the disruption of the al-Qaeda network.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-04-30

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Why would someone announce an attack?:blink: especially when they already in war.

I would of thought surprise attack would lead or give better chance at victory then announcing its plans.

Will they also announce the actual plan and strategy?

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