DUBAI (AFP) – Taliban leader Mullah Omar said the NATO-led coalition is losing the war in Afghanistan, calling on Afghans to redouble their struggle and pressing the United States to withdraw.
Omar was speaking in a message to mark Eid al-Fitr, the feast that ends the holy fasting month of Ramadan, made available by the US-based monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group.
"The victory of our Islamic nation over the invading infidels is now imminent and the driving force behind this is the belief in the help of Allah and unity among ourselves," he said.
"Put all your strength and planning behind the task of driving away the invaders and regaining independence of the country," he told Afghan mujahedeen (fighters).
He claimed that "those military experts who have framed strategies of the invasion of Afghanistan or are now engaged in hammering out new strategies, admit themselves that all their strategies are nothing but a complete failure."
And he said "other foreign forces which have come here for occupation of our country... are now under pressures from their people due to the growing and heavy military expenditures, casualties and the fruitlessness of the war. Each of them is hastily seeking ways of exit from Afghanistan."
Addressing Americans, he said "you tested all your might... to maintain your occupation over the Afghan Islamic and independent country but you achieved nothing except a dashing defeat."
"But your rulers, instead of admitting their wrong policies, and seeking a rational exit, want to try the hackneyed and failed process once more as an effort to compensate for their defeats and distract your attention and that of the public of the world from their debacles.
"What we want to convey to you through this message is that (you) withdraw your soldiers from our country unconditionally and as soon as possible. This is in your interest and in the interest of your people and the best option for regional stability."
"You should know that your rulers have continuously told you lies since the beginning of the aggression on Afghanistan until this very day.
"They have wasted hundreds of billion(s) of dollars of your tax money in the shape of financial expenditures and your manpower in Afghanistan and have still been wasting them. You shall be witness to another economic melt-down."
Mullah Omar was one of the leaders of the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to the end of 2001, when it was driven out of power by the US invasion. He has been underground since then.
The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan has swelled to 150,000 soldiers as part of a surge strategy aimed at defeating the Taliban once and for all.