Al Qaeda hails Taliban for emancipating Afghans
It is back to square one for Afghanistan with al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQIP) praising their fellow terrorist group, the Taliban, for capturing Kabul with military force after evicting the US forces and Ashraf Ghani government. The AQIP in a statement has congratulated the Sunni Pashtun group for its victory and emancipation of the country.
Several other terrorist groups associated with al Qaeda have also issued statements on the Taliban victory in Afghanistan after the hardline Islamist group seized Kabul on Sunday. The Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham in Syria (HTS), which views the Taliban as an inspiration for steadfastness. The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) based in Western China has also issued a statement congratulating the Taliban on their Islamic State in Afghanistan. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has already bowed in allegiance (Bayat) to the Taliban leadership for getting rid of the US forces but has made it clear that they will continue to target the Pakistan army, which is the mother of the Sunni Pashtun group in Kabul.
HTS, which is the most powerful faction in rebel-held parts of northwest Syria, compared the Taliban’s control of much of Afghanistan with the early Muslim conquests. HTS said in a statement released late Wednesday that “no matter how long it takes, righteousness will end up victorious.” “Occupiers don’t last on usurped lands no matter how much they harm its people.”
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HTS said it hopes that insurgents in Syria will be also victorious by learning from the experience of the Taliban to remove the government of President Bashar al-Assad, its adversary in the country’s 10-year conflict. “We congratulate our Taliban brothers and our people in Afghanistan for this clear conquest, and ask God to also grant the Syrian revolution victory," it said in a statement released on its social media channels.
HTS has been over the past months working on improving its image by distancing itself from extremist ideology. Some of the founding members of the group, which was once known as the Nusra Front, include Arab commanders who were close to al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Many of them have been killed in US drone attacks in Syria over the past years.
HTS formally cut ties with al Qaeda in 2016 and also move closer to Syrian rebel groups in the country's northwest.