The Afghan Taliban have announced Tuesday the start of their â€œspring offensiveâ€ even as the government in Kabul tries to bring the insurgents back to the negotiating table to end their drawn-out conflict.
The Taliban said in a statement they would â€œemploy large-scale attacks on enemy positions across the countryâ€ during the offensive they have dubbed â€œOperation Omariâ€ in honour of the movementâ€™s late founder Mullah Omar, whose death was announced last year. â€œThe offensive codenamed â€œOmar Operationsâ€ started at 5:00am,â€ the Taliban leadership said.
â€œWith the advent of spring it is again time for us to renew our Jihadi determination and operations. Hence the Islamic Emirateâ€™s leadership eagerly announces this yearâ€™s Jihadi Operation in honour of the movementâ€™s founder and first leader, the late Amirul Muâ€™mineen Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid,â€ the statement read.
The Council said the operation will result into â€œstrategic victories and cleanse the country from the presence of the remaining foreign invaders and their malignant and corrupt rebel servants.â€
It is widely believed, an increase in Taliban violence could further complicate efforts for peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country. International players and Afghan leaders are deeply concerned at the possible intensification of fighting this year.
The Taliban statement said â€œOperation Omariâ€ was initiated and planned by the groupâ€™s leadership, the leaders of the military commission as well as their military planners. â€œSimilarly the operation will employ large scale attacks on enemy positions across the country, martyrdom-seeking and tactical attacks against enemy strongholds, and assassination of enemy commanders in urban centers. The presentoOperation will also employ all means at our disposal to bog the enemy down in a war of attrition that lowers the morale of the foreign invaders and their internal armed militias,â€ the statement said.