KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar said Monday that the insurgents' strategy aims to increase operations nationwide and battle the US-led coalition in a war of attrition.
But in a sign that NATO's campaign against the Taliban may be hurting the militants far more than they have acknowledged, Mullah Omar also appealed for funding from Muslims around the world.
Mullah Omar, who has not been seen in public since being driven from power following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., said the Taliban wants to boost operations across Afghanistan to "compel the enemy to come out from their hideouts and then crush them through tactical raids."
In his message for Eid al-Adha, the most important holiday on the Islamic calendar, the Taliban leader also claimed that NATO forces were in Afghanistan for the "achievement of some colonialist objectives and goals, so it is the religious and humane obligation of the Afghans to stand up."
The US-led coalition has ramped up its military campaign against the Taliban in their southern stronghold, capturing or killing hundreds of insurgent leaders and cutting into the movement's ability to draw funds from the poppy harvest.
A senior coalition official has said the military has been averaging more than 200 special forces operations a month, with more than half resulting in the capture or killing of the targeted insurgents.