16-05-2022 02:36 PM Jerusalem Timing

Afghan Taliban Announces Start of ’Spring Offensive’

Afghan Taliban Announces Start of ’Spring Offensive’

The Afghan Taliban announced Tuesday the start of its "spring offensive" even as the government in Kabul tries to bring the extremist group back to the negotiating table to end its drawn-out conflict.

The Afghan Taliban announced Tuesday the start of its "spring offensive" even as the government in Kabul tries to bring the extremist group back to the negotiating table to end its drawn-out conflict.

Taliban said in a statement it would "employ large-scale attacks on enemy positions across the country" during the offensive it has dubbed "Operation Omari" in honor of the movement's late founder Mullah Omar, whose death was announced last year.Taliban insurgents

The annual spring offensive normally marks the start of the "fighting season", though this winter the group continued to battle government forces without a seasonal break for the first time.

The statement promised "martyrdom-seeking and tactical attacks against enemy strongholds", a reference to suicide bombings -- a strategy the group has long resorted to against the Afghan police and army.

On Monday, 12 fresh recruits were killed in one such attack in the country's east.

The extremists, who have been waging an insurgency since being toppled from power in 2001, also promised attacks on the 13,000 NATO troops currently stationed in the country.

"By employing such a multifaceted strategy it is hoped that the foreign enemy will be demoralized and forced to evict our nation," the statement said.

Taliban has made the departure of all foreign forces a precondition to the resumption of direct peace talks with Kabul, which began last summer in Pakistan but ended abruptly after it was revealed that Mullah Omar had been dead for two years.