The battle for hearts and minds in Afghanistan has taken a new turn in the past two months. The Taliban’s supreme leader, Mullah Omar, has ordered his forces to kill or capture any civilians, including Afghan women, who cooperate with Coalition forces. Omar’s latest directive contradicts his marching orders from just one year ago, when he told his Taliban commanders to refrain from harming civilians working with the Coalition.
Omar reportedly issued his latest order in June. NATO announced that it had recovered a copy of the directive in July. Since then, Afghan press outlets have published a translation of Omar’s five-point order.
The Long War Journal has received a translation of Omar’s order, as it appeared in the Afghan press, from US intelligence sources. Senior US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal say the order is most likely genuine.