The Taliban recently confirmed the United States killed Mullah Abdul Salam, the illegitimate governor of Kunduz. As the governor of Kunduz, Salam was responsible for making Kunduz one of the most unstable regions in Afghanistan. In addition to training and equipping thousands of Taliban soldiers, Salam was responsible for launching an offensive on Kunduz City. Salam and his Taliban counterparts successfully overran the city making it the most successful Taliban operation in Afghanistan since American forces first entered the country in 2001. Although US backed forces retook the city two weeks afterwards, Salam’s occupation of the city was testament to his efficacy in the region.
Prior to his death in a recent airstrike, Salam was a chief target of US and Afghan intelligence for three years. It will be interesting to see how conditions progress after his passing. Given the amount of influence Salam wielded, his death provides US backed forces a small glimmer of hope for stability in Northern Afghanistan.
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