American Withdrawal From Afghanistan Inspired Hamas Attack on Israel, Resistance Spokesman Tells the Sun

The remarks come as the conflict between Western states and Iran’s proxies in the Middle East reaches levels not seen in years.

AP/Zabi Karimi
In an August 15, 2021, file photo, Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace at Kabul. AP/Zabi Karimi

The chaos now engulfing the Middle East and the devastating October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israel can be traced back to the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan in summer 2021, a leader in the anti-Taliban resistance tells The New York Sun. 

“The abrupt withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan … has markedly fueled radical jihadist movements, igniting a renewed era of terrorism both regionally and globally,” the head of foreign relations for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, Ali Maisam Nazary, warned in an interview late last week. 

His remarks come as the conflict between Western states and Iran’s proxies in the Middle East reaches levels not seen in years. On Sunday, Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired a missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea. 

American and British planes had struck Houthi targets in Yemen on Friday. The response followed weeks of Houthi attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea. The Houthi attacks, they say, are in support of Hamas in Gaza. The terrorist group is now facing a fierce Israeli response to the massacre it committed on October 7, when it killed more than 1,200 Israelis and took 240 more captive. 

Mr. Nazary says this attack was also an outgrowth of American blunders in Afghanistan. The “pivotal shift” in August 2021 led to the “ascendancy of the Taliban and 21 other terrorist groups,” he says. The ripple effects, Mr. Nazary says, have spread across the region and the Middle East. 

The pullout “encouraged other terrorist groups and their sponsors across the Middle East recently to destabilize the region, demonstrating that defiance against the rules-based international order,” he says. 

Referring to the Hamas attacks, but not mentioning Hamas by name, Mr. Nazary adds that its “aims of pursuing annihilation of whole populations and countries became possible” with the decision by America “to hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban terrorists.”

On October 4, just days before the attacks on southern Israel, the leader of the NRF, Ahmed Massoud, reportedly told an Israeli newspaper that his group would welcome aid and assistance from any country, including Israel. The NRF later denied that an exchange had taken place. “Rumours about this are completely baseless and biased,” the group said on X. 

In September, during a visit to Paris, Mr. Massoud affirmed that the NRF was committed to its war of resistance against the Taliban. He vowed to step up “guerrilla warfare” against the Islamist hardliners, Reuters reported

Nestled in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, the NRF operates out of the northeastern Panjshir Valley. An aide to Mr. Massoud told the Independent last month: “We are arranging 15 to 20 military operations per month in regions occupied by Taliban, and in each of these, we are able to kill three to eight of their terrorists.”


This dispatch has been updated from the bulldog edition to clarify that while Mr. Nazary made remarks in reference to the October 7 attacks, he did not mention Hamas by name.

The New York Sun

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