Pentagon: Military Will 'Learn' From Afghanistan Withdrawal 'For Years To Come' ArmyAmber/ Pixabay

Afghan resistance fighters have vowed to fight against the Taliban and defend the rugged snow-capped valley of Panjshir. The National Resistance Front (NRF) has been seen training in SAS-style in a mountain fortress just north of Kabul saying that they have killed hundreds of Taliban fighters on Wednesday after they tried to advance to the valley.

In their tweet, the Northern Alliance claimed they have killed 350 Talibani fighters and captured more than 40 during a bloody battle at Khavak.

According to the Associated Press, ousted Afghan leaders holed up in Panjshir could decide to negotiate with the Taliban as the Islamist group is said to be holding talks with former Afghan officials for an inclusive government.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, a senior Taliban official said they have surrounded Panjshir and will attack if they reject the talks. The Taliban earlier appealed to residents of Panjshir to lay down their arms following a night of fighting around Shotul and Golbahar, located at the southern end of the river valley where steep slopes provide a strong protection from anyone trying to infiltrate the territory.

It is unclear how long the Panjshir valley can hold its defenses as the Taliban may attack at any time using US armaments they have seized in the recent weeks.

Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the “Lion of Panjshir”, said in an interview with Arab media that he would not surrender territory, but he is open to support a broad-based government. He is the head of the Northern Alliance, which is composed of Tajik militia as well as fighters from other ethnic groups and former Afghan forces. The group seeks an independent, multi-ethnic Afghanistan under a moderate Islamic rule.

Massoud had already sounded the alarm to the 170,000 valley residents of an impending Taliban attack and told them that they were free to leave if they wished. A resident who spoke to Massoud over the phone said those who choose to stay are prepared to fight should this be necessary but are keen on coming to terms of a negotiated solution

Bismillah Mohammadi, Afghanistan's former defense minister said, “Our people should not worry. They retreated with heavy casualties.”

The Panjshir valley is of symbolic value in Afghanistan having remained the last bastion of freedom in the war torn country. It has resisted invasion time and again during the Russian, the British and the Taliban eras.

The valley has limited points of entry and its geography boasts of a natural military advantage offering high positions to effectively target invaders.

Panjshir fighters are now showing their brand of military training as they are seen carrying heavy logs on their shoulders crossing chest-deep icy rivers. Other resistance forces have also been sighted carrying weapons and marching through the mountainous terrain having fortified their surveillance posts with mortars and machine gun nests in anticipation of attacks from the Taliban.

This is a representational image. ArmyAmber/Pixabay

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