LOSING GROUND IN AFGHANISTAN?
Kevin Drum cites an alarming report that came out Monday from Sify.com, of whom I’ve frankly never heard, and wonders why it isn’t getting more attention:
The Taliban has wrested control of most of Zabul province in southeastern Afghanistan– for the first time recapturing a province since being ousted from power by the US military in November 2001– geopolitical analytical firm Stratfor reported.
Stratfor said its sources have confirmed reports first published on a Web site maintained by Muslim jihadists, jihadunspun.com, that Taliban fighters, in concert with al Qaeda forces, have have retaken Zabul.
The advance also underscores the stalemate between the United States and its Afghan allies against the Taliban. It indicates that the alliance formed in early 2002 between the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hizb-i-Islami — the party led by Afghan war lord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — is paying off for the militants, Stratfor said in a report.
The fact that no one else seems to have picked up on the story, combined with the fact that it relies so heavily on the amateur analysts at Stratfor, makes me skeptical.
Sify Ltd. is apparently an outfit out of India that offers all manner of services. Beyond that, I have no clue as to their legitimacy as a news portal. Their proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan certainly would offer an advantage; but one would think Reuters, BBC, UPI, and others would be trolling their site for leads if it’s of any value.
Something to keep an eye out for, anyway.