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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora