News / Asia

US: Kabul Siege a Taliban Propaganda Victory

Afghan policemen fire towards a building which the Taliban insurgents took over, during an attack near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, September 13, 2011.
Afghan policemen fire towards a building which the Taliban insurgents took over, during an attack near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, September 13, 2011.

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan says the 20-hour militant siege in Kabul was a military failure for the Taliban, but also a propaganda victory for the insurgent group.

General John Allen said Wednesday that the assault, which targeted the U.S. Embassy, NATO's headquarters and other high-profile targets in the Afghan capital, had no military significance. But he added that the raid had frightened Kabul residents and made news headlines around the world.

The siege ended Wednesday when Afghan and coalition forces killed the remaining militants who had participated in the raid.

Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, says very little can be done about preventing the kind of attack that was carried out in the Afghan capital.

The former director of intelligence assessment for the US Defense Department spoke with VOA's Ira Mellman.

On Tuesday, six militants on Tuesday took over a half-built high-rise building overlooking the two compounds and began firing automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.  Three other militants, armed with suicide vests, attacked Afghan police targets elsewhere in Kabul.

NATO helicopters working alongside Afghan security forces finally cleared the building of the last insurgents Wednesday, ending the assault.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for what is seen as the longest militant attack on the Afghan capital since the start of the war in 2001.

General Allen said 11 Afghan civilians, including children, were killed, along with five Afghan policemen.  More than two dozen people were wounded, including six NATO troops.  

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker blamed the Pakistan-based Haqqani network for the coordinated attack in the heart of Kabul.  The Haqqani network has ties to both al-Qaida and the Taliban and has previously demonstrated an ability to launch sophisticated attacks.

Crocker also downplayed the assault, saying the militants were only capable of what he called "harassment," firing six rocket-propelled grenades at the embassy from a distance of 800 meters.  No embassy staff were wounded.

Afghan police officials said they believe the militants used burqas to bypass security checks to get close to the sensitive area housing the diplomatic compounds.  They reported finding several of the traditional full-bodied coverings for women inside a vehicle packed with explosives at the scene of the final battle.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack and praised the effective response of the Afghan authorities.  He said such actions will not stop the security transition in the country, but instead embolden the Afghan people's determination to take responsibility for their own country's affairs.

The assault came as NATO nations seek to transfer full security control to the Afghan military within the next few years.  U.S. and NATO officials responded to the violence by saying it would not weaken their resolve to continue the transition through the end of 2014.  Afghan security forces already have taken security control of several cities and provinces.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid