Sunday, March 28, 2010

Interview with Afghanistan Taliban's General Commander of the Mujahideen, Mullah 'Abdul Razzaq Akhund

*Translated from an article in the Afghanistan Taliban's monthly Internet magazine, Al-Samoud (Al-Samood).


An Interview with the General Commander of the Mujahedeen Mullah Abdul Razzaq Akhand regarding Combat Abilities
of the Mujahedeen in Marja

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Question: Esteemed Mullah Abdul Razzaq, please provide the readers of al-Emarah website with information regarding recent progress in the Marjah district.

Answer: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, protector to the Mujahedeen, blessings and peace be upon the Leader of the Mujahideen, his family and companions and all guided by him. Allah Most High says:

“Yea, if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught.” (Al-i-Imran Aya 125).

Praise be to Allah, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate in Helmand province, especially in the Marjah area are in high combat readiness and strong morale and spirit in face of the crusader occupiers. We had previously undertaken these military preparations under the supervision of gifted military leaders on the military committee of the Islamic Emirate, and we did not start these preparations now with the start of the attack, reckoning that an assault like this was expected from the crusader occupiers, in order to repel their attacks and force them to withdraw.

Question: From the point of view of the Mujahideen present in the field at Marja, is the attack of the enemy occupiers just a normal attack, with no innovation from a military standpoint?

Answer: Based on specialized experience, I consider this battle to be a propaganda battle, and not a military battle. Because right now there are entire districts like Baghran Baghneen, Dishu and Washir in the hands of the Mujahideen and under their complete control. Likewise there are wide areas in the province center and vast swaths of this province (Helmand) at the disposal of the Mujahideen, to the point that, in some of them, the enemy can only reach them by air.
The enemy is completely incapable of controlling those areas. There were operations there codenamed Tiger Claw and Dagger which ended in July of last year without any result. The enemy, with the intent of drawing a curtain over their past defeats and losses and to avoid the new Mujahideen operations which will begin next Spring, have announced two months before Spring the attack on the Marja region.
Marja is a normal area of the Bad Ali district in Helmand province, in that the enemy has so far been unable to extend his occupation there and dedicated a military center there. In terms of the area, this region is very small and limited. But at the same time, it is a fertile agricultural region. Located to the north of Marja is the Nawar historical district belonging to the Nad Ali district. To its south is Garmsir district and to its west Nawah district. In the east are the districts of Khansheen and Delaram.
As I said, it is a small region in terms of the area, but the enemy in his propaganda magnifies this small region, like it’s a command center for the Mujahideen in the south and west of the country. In order to pressure the Mujahideen in this area, the enemy has been conducting war propaganda for a week, acting as if they sympathize with residents, and have asked them to leave Marja and have dropped from the air pamphlets upon the residents and the Mujahideen. They have employed western media at every moment to publicize pre-prepared results and have made the maximum effort to reap the media and propaganda fruits of this battle.
Their basic goal from this huge media propaganda is to restore the standing and status of the defeated military general Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan, even by temporarily seizing one small village in Helmand and showing it to the western world via television shots.
This is because they have become greatly disturbed by the victories of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. The continuous defeats of their soldiers before the Mujahideen have brought their status and prestige into question. Their people have become doubtful and suspicious about their military and defensive capabilities. Therefore McChrystal and the rest of the generals in the defeated crusader alliance, for the sake of restoring their lost prestige, have begun the seizure of a very small and limited area in Helmand and have announced the Marja propaganda campaign.
If Marja is not a propaganda battle, then why did the enemies not announce the seizure of the rest of the districts of this province which possess greater military and strategic importance than Marja? These are entire districts, as opposed to Marja, which is a small area of one district.

Question: What are your military preparations opposing the enemy attacks in the field?

Answer: With the aid of Almighty Allah, we have employed effective tactics of war to destroy the enemy and trap him in this area. I can disclose a portion of them:

a. We have furnished all public and private roads to Marja with timed mines. For the sake of the local civilians, we have appointed Mujahideen to watch these roads.

b. We have employed martyrdom-seeking squads of Mujahideen in places determined as possible enemy assembly areas.

c. In order to target moving and mobile targets, we have distributed heavy and long-range weapons.

Question: This means you are using frontal tactics against the enemy in the battle of Marja?

Answer: We execute our tactics against the enemy in accordance with the flow of the battle and the situation on the ground during the Marja battles, according to our previous experience not only in Marja but in all areas of the country. The Mujahideen have reaped great benefits through the use of “hit and run” tactics.
The landscape of Marja and the location of its agricultural channels are advantageous for these kinds of battles. Here there are safe places from which the Mujahideen can ambush and launch surprise assaults against the enemy, and later return to. During the resistance we employ those tactics that gives us the capability of achieving more victories.

Question: How confident are you that you will win this battle?

Answer: Here I leave the matter to the knowledge of Allah Almighty. All of the decisions of our success or failure are linked to His Almighty Will. In the matter of our success, we feel safe in Divine aid and assistance, not in our military strength or combat preparations. Almighty Allah has guided us in His Book saying:

“If Allah help you, none can overcome you: if He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In Allah then, let Believers put there trust.” (Surah Al-i-Imran, Aya 160).

If victory comes only through material and military capabilities, then the Americans and British should have control over all parts of Helmand. In order to seize this province of 58,584 square kilometers, they have plunged into dozens of battles with tens of thousands of soldiers armed to the teeth with the most devastating military equipment and most destructive technology on the face of the earth. They are supported by advanced Tornado, Apache and F16 aircraft and by Abrams and Chieftain tanks. Trained American marines and British special forces have taken part in these battles, and they possess the most advanced means of intelligence and surveillance.
Additionally, they have launched an extensive propaganda campaign to give spirit to their fighting soldiers. Nonetheless, the defeats that have been their lot have come at the hands of Mujahedeen which are empty of advanced equipment. At the end of every battle, we see a large number of enemy soldiers dead and wounded, and many of their vehicles advanced machines destroyed, and funerals and sorrow for their slain in the streets of Washington and London.

Question: How many active Mujahideen are in Marja?

Answer: Because of some combat considerations, I do think it is appropriate to here define the number of our active Mujahideen. But in sum, I can say that we have enough Mujahideen to confront the enemy well. The resistance to the enemy in all parts of the country and especially Helmand has reached the stage where the people are entirely standing with the Mujahideen. The number of Mujahideen in each area is determined in reality by the number of residents in that area. Meaning, with every increase in the number of residents in an area, the number of Mujahideen in that area also increases. In light of this fact, we have in Marja two types of Mujahideen: armed Mujahideen and unarmed Mujahideen.
Our armed Mujahideen are occupied with facing the enemy according to organized tactics in determined and parallel groups. As for the unarmed Mujahideen, they are the youth of the area who are based in their houses in view of their lack of weapons of combat training. They are ready to assist and cooperate with the armed Mujahideen at any moment. They are therefore reserves and we use them at the necessary time. The number of those reserve Mujahideen reaches thousands of youth.
From another aspect, all the Mujahideen of Helmand province participate in a practical fashion in the defense of Marja. With the assault on Marja, they immediately began to target fixed and mobile enemy targets with strike, attack their military bases and assault their military convoys by detonating timed road-side bombs.
This is with the understanding that the Military Committee of the Islamic Emirate has found this level of solidarity and cooperation throughout the entire country, and that they have been put to practical and active use in Helmand province for the past six years with great results.

Question: As a military commander – why do the crusader occupation forces place all this importance in Helmand province, deploying to this province the largest number of forces in the country?

Answer: There are military, political, security and economic aspects to the increasing concern of the Americans and British towards this province. I will briefly point to them here:

1. Helmand province is close to the border with Iran. The British and Americans want to have military and spy bases on the border with Iran in order to monitor and threaten its military, security and espionage establishments.

2. Helmand province is considered a big center for heroin on a global scale. American and British mafia companies are developing narcotic production there and re smuggling it outside Afghanistan on English aircraft, then providing it to the markets. The Americans and British are exerting their utmost efforts to, after controlling all areas of Helmand, control all centers of heroin production, so that its production is under its complete control. They will develop it and reap fantastic profits from it.

3. Helmand province is situated close to Pakistan as well as Iran, especially the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, where a big naval harbor is being built in the Jawadar region of that province in cooperation with China. There are also other big projects being implemented. This port has great economic importance to the rival economy of China and, at the same time, it is an appropriate site for Britain and America in Afghanistan to obtain a path to the sea. The Americans and British are thirsty to find a shorter road to the sea to supply their forces in Afghanistan. America’s expansionist economic desire to dominate Asia, and especially Central Asia, is connected to this sea port. The easiest way to reach this path is through complete control over Helmand province.

4. In addition to the strategic position of Helmand, it has huge natural resources, including uranium supplies, so that the English occupation forces are now conducting quick, illegal mining operations. One of the officials in ministry of mines under the Karzai administration revealed this to the media under the condition of anonymity. According to eye-witness accounts among the local populace, the English forces have brought to Sinjin district huge digging equipment, and have actually begun extracting uranium. A large number of English transport aircraft have been seen in the field on a daily basis.

5. The three southwest provinces - Qandahar, Oruzgan and Helmand – are the areas from which emerged the leadership of the Islamic Emirate and some of its most important members. Likewise, the Islamic Emirate was established there. The Americans and British want to seize Helmand to control the three provinces and, according to their claims, fundamentally paralyze the capabilities of the Islamic Emirate in order to be able to control the rest of the country with ease.
These are some of the incentives that have spurred the Americans and English to increased interest in Helmand province. But all of their endeavors and interests are misplaced initiatives, because there is no possibility that they will achieve their sinister goals either inside Helmand or in the country adjacent to Helmand. The residents of Helmand are Muslims with a great sensitivity towards the presence of British and American occupiers in their province. Every youth and old man in this province is ready to defend inch by inch the soil of Helmand and wage jihad against the occupiers.

Question: How do you assess the fighting morale of the Mujahideen in Marja?

Answer: The Mujahideen of Marja are standing in the gaps of glory and pride, their combat and fighting morale is very high, and each one of them is repeating in the trenches of Jihad the saying of the Almighty:

“Yea, if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught.” (Al-i-Imran Aya 125).

They request that all their Muslim brothers remember them in their prayers, and beseech Allah on their behalf for steadfastness and integrity in this encounter and pray for them that the Pharaonic tyrant of the age falls at their hands.

Question: According to news reports, for the past three days there have been continuous battles with the enemies in different fields of Marja. It is said that the enemy has landed his paratroopers in some fields. Can you provide some general information about military revelations and Jihadist victories in recent days there?

Answer: Yes, for the past three days the enemy occupier has attacked Marja a number of times. However, through the grace of Allah, each time he has sustained huge losses and been forced to retreat. In the beginning the enemy gathered his forces in the Sistani desert and the enemy attacked them with rockets. On the second day, the enemy attacked from Tarikh Nawar and Jar Rahi Shrin Jan and his forces advanced. And here a number of his military vehicles were successively destroyed by land mines and his infantry troops were also destroyed.
It is worth mentioning that in the past few days dozens of enemy infantry were killed as a result Mujahideen attacks and explosions in the areas around Marja such as Abad Allah Qalaf, Shamlan and Qari Sadi. Likewise a number of their military vehicles and minesweepers were destroyed, and their attacks were thwarted and they were forced to withdraw. Through the grace of Almighty Allah, few of our Mujahideen were martyred in these battles.
In the battles of the past few days the enemy has failed to advance on the ground and in face-to-face combat. He has sustained great losses as a result of the heroic Mujahideen resistance and has been forced to change his strategy. He has conducted night raids like he did last year and a number of his forces landed at night in the Lawi Jar Rahi area, something for which our Mujahideen had been on the alert. The Mujahideen immediately attacked them and resisted them and the battle remains ongoing but the enemy has been unable to advance from that area in any direction. This is the last stratagem to which the enemy has resorted. If he tries initiatives like this, he will expose his soldiers to danger and encirclement, and will achieve nothing, Allah willing.

Esteemed Leader Abdul Razzaq! We thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak with you during these critical moments of battle. We beseech Almighty Allah to grant you success and victory over your enemies.

Commander Abdul Razzaq: I also thank you.

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