Mullah Rasoul Stops Fighting Mansour and They Are Now Pals

Mulla Mohammad Rasool 3
Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, a.k.a., Abdul Qayum Zakir

[( Head of Taliban’s military commission resigns due to ‘ill health’ on  April 27, 2014.)   That was Mullah Rasoul, a.k.a., Mullah Abdul Qayum Zakir, former guest of Guantanamo, now #2 Taliban leader.  Not long after that, Rasoul/Zakir returned to the headlines, now leading the opposition to new Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Mansour. 

Today, after hundreds of Taliban fighters have died in this communal struggle, multiple sources have reported that Rasoul has dropped his opposition to Mansour and announced his support.  Every time that an Afghan or Taliban leader is killed his successors go through similar mini-wars.  Survival of the fittest, I guess.  Pakistan must have restored order to its house of Taliban.  Perhaps now, they will also be willing to talk peace.]

Afghan Taliban Dissident Pledges Allegiance to Leader

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Senior members of the Afghan Taliban said on Thursday that a prominent figure within the militant group who had opposed its new leadership has now pledged his allegiance, helping to close divisions within the Taliban ahead of possible peace talks with the government.

Abdul Qayum Zakir had disagreed with the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as leader of the Taliban following the death of the movement’s one-eyed founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Two Taliban members — Mohammad Ghaus, a foreign minister in the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime, and ruling council member Mullah Gul Rahman Saleem — told The Associated Press that Zakir had recently pledged allegiance to Mansoor.

His loyalty pledge helps close one of several rifts that emerged after Mullah Omar’s death was announced by the Afghan government last summer.

Mansoor had led the movement in Omar’s name for more than two years after he died. Kabul’s announcement of Omar’s death elevated Mansoor to the leadership, but led to deep mistrust among some at the top of the insurgent movement who felt betrayed.

The announcement of Omar’s death also derailed a peace process that has yet to be revived. The Taliban recently announced they would not attend direct talks with Afghan government representatives, which Kabul officials had said would take place in early March.

Zakir’s return to the fold follows a rallying call issued by Mansoor earlier this month, in which he called on disaffected Taliban to reunite under his leadership. This appears to be an attempt to strengthen his position ahead of any peace dialogue, consolidating battlefield gains made after the international combat mission ended in 2014 and left Afghan forces to fight largely alone for the first time in the war’s 15 years.

Zakir, a former Taliban military commission leader who spent time in Guantanamo Bay prison after the 2001 U.S. invasion toppled the Taliban regime, held a number of senior roles within the group, both during its rule of Afghanistan and after it went into exile in neighboring Pakistan. He had initially opposed Mansoor’s elevation to leader, but chose to keep a low profile.

His power base is in southern Helmand province, where most of the world’s opium is produced, and where Mansoor is believed to control the bulk of the smuggling routes.

Another dissident, Mullah Mohammad Rasool — known to be close to Zakir — established his own militia in western Afghanistan, where he fought Mansoor’s men. Reports circulated in the Pakistani media early this month that he had been lured back to Pakistan and arrested by authorities there. Islamabad has not confirmed the reports.

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O’Donnell reported from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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Plot to exploit migrant chaos as ‘an EXCUSE’ to rush through creation of EU Army

Plot to exploit migrant chaos as ‘an EXCUSE’ to rush through creation of EU Army

express sunday

EUROPEAN ministers are plotting to use the chaotic influx of migrants across the continent to rush through the creation of an all-powerful EU ARMY.

The stand-alone militarGETTY

The stand-alone military which has long been a cherished goal of Brussels bureaucrats
Central and Eastern European countries are pushing controversial plans to bring about the stand-alone military which has long been a cherished goal of Brussels bureaucrats.

They are citing the continent’s growing refugee crisis as the perfect excuse to execute the unprecedented military operation, which would comprise of a “civil-police-military mission” to kick out illegal immigrants.

But critics have dismissed the idea for a “bridging mission” using a joint military force along the EU border as “an excuse” to rush in an EU Army in through the back door. They added that once such a force is established, there is a possibility it would never be disbanded.

Austria and its Balkans neighbours are calling for the creation of an EU military force, which would be deployed to Europe’s external borders to help kick out migrants.

f an EU military forceGETTY

Austria and its Balkans neighbours are calling for the creation of an EU military force

They have proposed setting up a “bridging mission” that would help stretched EU border agency force Frontex process and deport migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey, to last for at least two months.

Austria’s defence minister Hans Peter Doskozil today warned the EU needed an auxiliary force to put an end to the growing crisis.

Mr Doskozil explained the EU troops would register asylum seekers in Greece or send them back because the EU’s civilian border agency is working “too slow”.

every Syrian returnedGETTY

EU countries will let in one Syrian direct from camps in Turkey in return for every Syrian returned

He added that the “civil-police-military mission should be deployed where necessary” to secure the EU’s borders and deport illegal migrants.

Austria alongside EU members Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia will now send a joint letter detailing the proposal to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini ahead of a crunch meeting about the migrant crisis on April 19.

or send them backGETTY

EU troops would register asylum seekers in Greece or send them back

Last month Austria took the lead shutting down borders across the Balkans in a move that has left stranded migrants stuck in Greece.

Vienna fears new routes could now develop through Bulgaria or Albania, whilst Mediterranean crossings to Italy from Libya will resume in the spring and summer when waters are calmer.

If the plan is put into action it would be the first ever time that the EU has deployed its own forces within the 28-nation bloc.

The latest remarks adds to a growing number of voices calling for the EU to dispatch troops to Greece to combat the spiralling migrant crisis.

Mr Doskozil raged: “In the past Frontex was responsible for securing the EU’s external borders but Frontex is too slow because of the way it operates.

“Therefore we suggest finding joint solutions in cooperation with ministries of foreign affairs and internal affairs.”

An Austrian government spokesman added: “It would be an EU military mission to implement the decisions of the European Council quickly.

“Frontex must hire 4,000 staff. One can imagine it will take a while before Frontex has that many staff.

“The minister is therefore saying ‘Why don’t we deploy the military to bridge the gap until Frontex is operational?’

They described the sight of troops bearing the EU ensign patrolling Greek soil as “the end of national sovereignty”.

Others said the proposal served as a warning about the consequences of staying with Brussels ahead of the EU referendum.

The troops would help enforce the new EU-Turkey plan which is supposed to begin on April 4.

The deal aims to close the main route by which a million migrants and refugees poured across the Aegean Sea to Greece in the last year before heading north mainly to Germany.

EU countries will let in one Syrian direct from camps in Turkey in return for every Syrian returned from Greece, with priority given to those who have not tried to enter Europe illegally before.

However, the plan has hit a hitch after Greece, which is furious at the border restrictions led by Austria, failed to show up at this week’s meeting.

Greece is sheltering around 43,000 refugees and migrants and more continued to arrive this week despite the deal to return illegal migrants to Turkey.

Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants on the Greek island of Chios ripped down the razor wire fence surrounding their dentention centre earlier today and began walking to the port in protest, according to security officials.

More than 1,500 migrants and refugees who arrived on Chios since mid-March were being held at the facility.

Pakistan/Afghan War of Words Continues To Escalate Over Failed Peace Process

Masoom StanikzaiForeign terrorists disguised as Taliban are fighting Afghan forces: Stanikzai

Khaama

The acting Minister of Defense Masoom Stanikzai has said that the foreign insurgents disguised as the Taliban militants are fighting the Afghan forces.

In his trip to the southern provinces, Stanikzai stopped in the restive Helmand province to review the security situation of this province.

He said the ongoing violence in Afghanistan is not having internal links but is a major conspiracy led by the foreign terrorists who have turned the the Afghan soil into a fighting ground.

Stanikzai further added that his claims could be proved with the death of hundreds of foreign terrorists killed during the operations in Khanshin, Baramchi, Marjah and other parts of Helmand province.

Speaking during a gathering in 215th Corps of the Afghan army in Helmand, Stanikzai said the local residents and Afghan people are not prepared to remove the corpses of the militants killed in the mentioned districts.

Stanikzai stressed that the Afghan people are not fighting the Afghan forces but they are the foreign terrorists who are waging war and violence.

The acting defense minister also added that the security of the bordering regions should be strengthened in a bid to prevent the infiltration of foreign terrorists into the Afghan soil.