VIDEO: ANA Soldiers Plead for Food, Weapons in Taliban Heartland

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As fierce fighting continues in the volatile southern province of Helmand, reports have emerged that dozens of security force members have been killed while fighting the Taliban.

In a video posted to social media, soldiers tell how little food and water they have.

In the video, the soldier who speaks says they are on the frontline of the battle without adequate weapons and that the little food they get daily, shown on the video, is meant to feed four men.

He blasted commanders and high-ranking military leaders for not addressing their concerns.

“We cannot sleep during the day nor during the night; they do not supply us with enough weapons and soldiers survive only on eating bread. We are battling on the frontline, but others (commanders) enjoy life in air conditioned rooms,” said the unnamed solder.

This comes at a critical juncture amid an escalating war in Helmand.

Reports indicate that up to 70 ANSF soldiers have been killed in the past few weeks in battles with the Taliban.

The hard-pressed ANSF soldiers have pleaded for more food and weapons less than a week after the Taliban released a video purportedly showing at least 20 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers who had surrendered to the Taliban in Helmand.

As speculation over the poor leadership of the war in Helmand and other provinces gathers fresh momentum, a number of military experts and members of parliament have said corruption and embezzlement of money in security institutions is the main challenge within the ANSF.

“Issues like these are linked to the actions of some commanders who continue to engage in corruption and sometimes even they are allegedly connected to armed opponents,” said senator Mohammad Asif Sediqi.

“How long will these problems continue, this will demoralize the forces, the issue needs to be tackled seriously,” military analyst Ainuddin Baig said.

In addition, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in reference to the video footage said that it will take action and provide the necessary assistance to the troops.

“The honorable minister and myself have seen the video; the minister has issued guidelines to address the issue soon and find out what has really happened,” defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.

“I saw the footage on Facebook and I was saddened and shocked to see it,” Kabul university student Zabi said.

“They must at least provide the soldiers with necessary weapons and food,” another resident Ahmad said.

Security officials have said that insurgents from fourteen provinces have flocked to Helmand in an attempt to take the province so as to move the Quetta Shura from Pakistan to Helmand.

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