Northern Alliance, Taliban Forces Assume Position Defense In Afghanistan

Awaiting start of an American operation in Afghanistan, forces of the Northern Alliance and the Taliban have assumed position defense. The Taliban is only sending out small subversion groups and firing at positions of the Northern Alliance mostly at night. In turn the Northern Alliance, having appreciable advantage in artillery and the armour, is at daytime firing for neutralisation at Taliban strongholds and fire positions on heights. Northern Alliance generals say this lull is only temporary. According to Afghan Deputy Defense Minister General Mohibullah, commander of the Northern Alliance forces in the northern direction, his troops are fully prepared to assume large-scale offensive in this direction. He makes no secret that, if the United States launches an operation to destroy terrorist bases in Afghanistan, wiping out the Taliban from the Takhar province with following advance towards Kabul will become a "much simpler" task. In turn, Taliban are seeking to strengthen their positions in the Takhar direction at the expense of their reserves from the southern Afghan provinces. According to the commander of the Northern Alliance's forces in the Kunduz direction, General Ulus, Taliban are sending out up to 5,000 militants from the southern provinces in the Takhar direction. The fate of Kabul is expected to be decided precisely in the Takhar and Kunduz directions.

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