by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

August 15, 2021

KABUL — According to US officials and UN sources, Afghan citizens face beheadings, forced “marriages”, and other possible war crimes as the Taliban sweeps across the Afghanistan, wresting control from ineffective government forces as the Biden’s withdrawal policies are implemented.

The militants are currently on the outskirts of Kabul and seek a “peaceful” transfer of power according to their definition of “peaceful”.  According to the US chargé d’affaires in Kabul the reported executions “could constitute war crimes . . . The Taliban’s statements in Doha do not resemble their actions in Badakhshan, Ghazni, Helmand & Kandahar . . . attempts to monopolize power through violence, fear, & war will only lead to international isolation.”

A Taliban spokesman (a group that helped support the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 people) denied earlier this week that the group was executing prisoners, despite witness accounts contradicting that claim.  The Taliban has also denied allegations that its militants demanded conquered territories provide them with females aged 15 and older as brides.  Taliban abuses of women are well known and there is a history of Taliban fighters raping girls as young as 13-years of age.

According to an Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission report on civilian casualties in the country during the first six months of 2021, 1,677 people were killed and 3,644 were injured by the end of June.  According to the report, this is an increase of 80% over the same period in 2020, and it is “the bloodiest six months for Afghan civilians since AIHRC started documenting.”  The Taliban was blamed for over 900 deaths and over 2,000 injuries, more than doubling its toll from last year.  There have also been reports of targeted assassinations.

The Taliban has a history of targeting pro-western Afghan workers.  Workers are beheaded or disappeared while “acceptable” female family members are “married off” to the Taliban fighters or political leaders as war prizes.

There have also been reports of attacks on Shiite Muslims, who follow a different sect of Islam than the Taliban, as well as business owners and other civilians.  The majority of civilian casualties were discovered in the country’s southwest, which includes Kandahar and Helmand provinces, which the Taliban seized on Friday along with at least three other provincial capitals.

According to the United Nations, the violence has displaced approximately 400,000 Afghan citizens since May.

In the midst of the chaos, Democrat President Joe Biden is reducing its military and civilian personnel presence.

The Pentagon announced on Friday that it would send 3,000 service members to Kabul to assist the State Department in evacuating the embassy.  By Saturday, the figure had risen to 5,000.

File photo: 1999 Taliban execution of Woman who defended herself against an abusive husband.