Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: Fighting Overnight in Afghanistan

Aired October 1, 2001 - 05:10   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Unprecedented number of people who are homeless right now and wandering in the desert. And that refugee crisis is made all the worse by the civil war being waged right now.

CNN's Chris Burns is with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan on some of the fighting overnight -- Chris, what happened?

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, the fighting does rage on in the north in several places, one in the town of Kadis (ph), where -- in northeastern Afghanistan -- where the Northern Alliance claims to have retaken it from the Taliban fighters. However, the Taliban now says that they have it back. So it seems like it's pitched battles going back and forth.

However, the Northern Alliance also claims that they have taken in 120 -- sorry, 200 Taliban fighters have defected along with 19 commanders. They have also captured 30 Taliban fighters and one commander. This all pointing, they say, to an erosion of support for the Taliban. However, this cannot be confirmed independently from this side.

In the town in the north of Namakou (ph) the Northern Alliance claims to have repelled a Taliban attack, killing four Taliban fighters. However, this all does point to the trend that has been going on for the last five years, the Northern Alliance having been kicked out of Kabul, out of power out of Kabul by the Taliban. The Taliban and the Northern Alliance seem to have been fighting back and forth in a stalemate at war that the Northern Alliance hopes that with the help of the United States, at least air strikes, they hope they can perhaps progress toward Kabul in that fashion -- Carol.

LIN: Chris, in this morning's "New York Times" here in the United States, there's a story that says that the Bush administration has approved what the newspaper is calling a covert effort to strengthen a diverse group of people who are opposing the Taliban. I'm wondering if the Northern Alliance has been able to confirm this with you and what their reaction has been.

BURNS: Well, so far the Northern Alliance says that they haven't received anything yet, no assurances. This would be an interesting development for them if it does prove to be true. However, it all seems a bit sketchy so far, nothing specific in terms of funding or so forth. But it does seem to follow along the orientation that the Bush administration wants to support groups opposed to the Taliban. And, however, it's a delicate question because you really have to be careful. If you do supply just the Northern Alliance to come back to Kabul, there are other groups that are also vying for power. It could, perhaps, trigger new factional fighting as we saw five years ago. A very delicate balance. That's why we see on the diplomatic side that we're trying -- that the international community is trying to put together some kind of a coalition including the Northern Alliance and other factions, other groups under the aegis of the exiled king that perhaps would bring about the stability that is needed in Kabul after the Taliban -- Carol.

LIN: Chris, you've reported earlier that the Northern Alliance has been helpful in supplying the United States with some intelligence on movements within Afghanistan. I'm wondering if the Northern Alliance, in exchange for that cooperation, has issued a check list per se, some, the things that they want from the United States if there is money heading towards opposition groups. Have they made some demands on the United States?

BURNS: Not that I'm aware of. But certainly the checklist would include any kind of hardware they can get because what they have right now is aging former Soviet equipment, a few new, relatively new Russian armed personnel carriers, artillery and so forth. But all that belongs, mainly belonged to the Soviets when they were here invading Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, aging equipment from the 1960s and '70s. That's why they need just about anything they can get.

They are depending on the Russians right now for cheap shipments of ammunition to supply that hardware to proceed with their war, but they really do need just about anything and everything from the United States. They also hope for air strikes, of course, to try to neutralize any kind of air power. The Taliban have some aging MIG fighter jets that they would like to have neutralized -- Carol.

LIN: OK, we're going to have more on those military maneuvers by the United States coming up.

But thank you very much. Chris Burns reporting live from northern Afghanistan.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top