The Taliban on Wednesday announced the beginning of a so-called spring offensive against coalition forces in Afghanistan, promising to use 'new and tested' tactics and attempting to avoid civilian casualties.
A statement from the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the official name of the Taliban, said its spring offensive will be called "al-Farooq," a reference to a leading companion and adviser to the Prophet Muhammad and the name of a former al-Qaeda training camp in southern Afghanistan.
"It must be stated that the primary target of the Al-Farooq operation will be the foreign invaders, their advisers, their contractors and members of all associated military, intelligence and auxiliary departments," the Taliban said in its statement. It said it will also target high-ranking officials of the Afghan government.
The insurgent group also said it will implement "new and tested war tactics" and promised to give "top priority" to avoid civilian casualties. "It is hoped that civilians stay away from the bases of invaders and their hirelings, their military convoys and refrain from going close to explosion sites as the enemy intentionally targets civilians to avenge the caused death/injury and attributes it to the Taliban," the group's statement claimed.
Last year, the Taliban announced a spring offensive called "Badar", a reference to the Battle of Badr in 624 AD, which was a key battle in the early days of Islam. But "Badar" was considered to be a failure as, with the exception of mostly low-profile attacks, it resulted in only hundreds of highly exaggerated and false statements from the group