Kandahar (Afghanistan), Apr.18 (ANI): The Taliban believes they are winning and are able to negotiate from a position of strength.
Asked about a forthcoming Nato offensive in the Kandahar region, a local Taliban commander told The Times: "We're ready for this. We're going to break the Americans' teeth."
The Taliban leaders said that lessons had been learnt from NATO's last big offensive in the Marjah area of Helmand province earlier this year. When NATO gave advance notice of the operation, the Taliban were lured into sending too many fighters to the area, some of whom died.
The leaders said that in Kandahar a plan to counter Nato had already been prepared.
"There will be no surprise there. We have our people inside all positions in the city, in the government and the security forces," The Times quoted Abdul Rashid, a Taliban spokesman, as saying.
He added that America already had enough problems "to haunt her" and fighting in Kandahar would only turn more people against it.
"People don't trust the foreigners because they are backing the warlords. People are fed up with crime and brutality and that's a big problem for the Americans. We're well positioned, with supporters everywhere," he added.
Abdul Rashid said there had been Taliban commanders who had financed their campaigns by taking bribes to give safe passage to Nato supply convoys or from drug smugglers. But the Taliban's leadership had ordered a halt to this.
"What we do is not for a worldly cause - it is for the sake of Allah. More important than the fighting for us now is the process of purification. We are getting rid of all the rotten apples," he said. (ANI)