Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan warlord has extended his “help” to the U.S. on the conditional basis of the American troops planning to exit the country.
“We are ready to help with the United States and … other coalition forces if foreign troops announce the time frame for the pulling out their troops from Afghanistan,” said Hekmatyar, who is also the former prime minister and leader of a militant pro-Taliban group.
“I am sure Afghans will fight U.S. forces and will continue Jihad against them like they fought against Russia before if they don’t leave the country,” he added.
What is referred to as the Soviet’s Vietnam took place in 1979 when Russia invaded Afghanistan, the war lasted until 1989.
While Hekmatyer was unclear on how he plans to “help,” officials believe the group would likely stop attacks against coalition forces, discontinue the recruitment of members and cease the intimidation of local citizens.
The militant leader is known by the Pentagon as one of Afghanistan’s most influential military powers. Hekmatyer was also the recipient of $600 million in U.S. aid during the war against the Soviets.
Hekmatyer’s “help” offerings comes during a series of British and U.S. attacks on the country’s Southern Helmand province. More than 13,000 NATO members are fighting in Helmand.
The forces are making an attempt to gain and control the dangerous region ahead of elections this month.
Before the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan. Though the Islamic fundamentalist group all but toppled shortly after the attacks, the remaining leaders escaped to the Afghan countryside and Pakistan.
The Obama administration has shifted its focus from Iraq and moved about 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.