Afghan Leader of Taliban Resistance Urges West to 'Supply Us Without Delay'

The leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA) has urged western nations to supply their armed struggle against the Taliban "without delay."

Ahmad Massoud said his mujahideen fighters in the Panjshir Valley—which he called the "last bastion of Afghan freedom"—in the north of the country "are prepared to once again take on the Taliban" following its takeover of Kabul last weekend.

He said "stores of ammunition and arms" collected over decades had been bolstered by equipment and soldiers from Afghan Special Forces and the Afghan regular army who had been "disgusted by the surrender of their commanders."

However in an op-ed for The Washington Post published on Wednesday, the younger Massoud warned that it was "not enough," and called on the West to provide "more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies."

"If Taliban warlords launch an assault, they will of course face staunch resistance from us," he wrote.

"The flag of the National Resistance Front will fly over every position that they attempt to take, as the National United Front flag flew 20 years ago. Yet we know that our military forces and logistics will not be sufficient. They will be rapidly depleted unless our friends in the West can find a way to supply us without delay."

Massoud's father Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was a hero of the 1980's war against Soviet occupiers and later of opposition to the Taliban, was killed by al-Qaeda suicide bombers on September 9, 2001.

The Panjshir Valley, located north of Kabul, was a resistance stronghold against the Soviets and then the Taliban and has never conquered by either.

The younger Massoud used his op-ed to call on "friends in the West to intercede," naming the United States, the U.K. and France, and help his anti-Taliban forces.

"The Taliban is not a problem for the Afghan people alone," he said. "Under Taliban control, Afghanistan will without doubt become ground zero of radical Islamist terrorism; plots against democracies will be hatched here once again."

Massoud's calls came as Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president of Afghanistan, declared himself the caretaker president of the country.

Massoud's op-ed concluded: "No matter what happens, my mujahideen fighters and I will defend Panjshir as the last bastion of Afghan freedom. Our morale is intact. We know from experience what awaits us."

"America and its democratic allies do not just have the fight against terrorism in common with Afghans. We now have a long history made up of shared ideals and struggles. There is still much that you can do to aid the cause of freedom. You are our only remaining hope.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Panjshir, valley, Afghan, security, forces
Afghan security forces patrol on a Humvee vehicle along a road in Bazarak town of Panjshir province on August 17. Ahmad Massoud called on Western leaders to offer supplies to Afghan resistance fighters. SAHEL ARMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Leaders in the America and Britain have come under fire over their handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and their response to the fall of Kabul.

U.S. President Joe Biden has been criticized for his comment that "Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves," when many Afghan commandos have reported being left without supplies, pay or food on the frontline by the now former-President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the Taliban for the U.A.E.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson was met by widespread disapproval in the House of Commons on Wednesday over his administration's response to the crisis.

At the emergency session of Parliament, former Prime Minister and fellow Conservative MP Theresa May asked Prime MInister Johnson: "Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak? Was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate?

"Or did we just feel that we have to follow the United States and hope that, on a wing and a prayer, it would be all right on the night."