- Taliban seize the 10th capital in their offensive in Afghanistan.
- US and NATO prepare to completely abandon Afghanistan after decades of war.
- Videos and images in which they appear in Ghazni have been posted online.
The Taliban have seized Ghazni, a provincial capital near Kabul, the tenth to fall to the insurgents in a week of offensive, while the United States and NATO are getting ready to completely abandon Afghanistan after decades of war.
According to information from AP, the insurgents raised their white flags with their famous Islamic proclamation over the city of Ghazni, just 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Kabul. Sporadic fighting continued at an intelligence base and military facilities just outside the city.
Taliban take Ghazni, the 10th city in Afghanistan
The Taliban posted videos and images on the internet showing them in Ghazni, the capital of the region of the same name. Neither the Afghan security forces nor the government have responded to repeated requests for comment on the clashes.
President Ashraf Ghani is trying to organize a counteroffensive based on special forces, warlord militias, and the air power of the United States and NATO before his withdrawal at the end of the month.
Taliban take Ghazni: to defend the capital
Although the country’s capital, Kabul, has not been directly threatened by the offensive, the astonishing speed of the insurgent operation raises the question of how long the government will be able to maintain control over the fragments of the country that it has left.
The government could be forced to retreat to defend the capital and a few more cities as thousands displaced by the fighting arrived in Kabul, where they live in fields and parks (Archived as: Taliban take Ghazni, the 10th city in Afghanistan).
The city collapsed before the insurgents
Amanullah Kamrani, a member of the Ghazni provincial council, told AP that the two bases on the outskirts of the city are still under government control. Mohammad Arif Rahmani, a legislator from the region, also said that the city had collapsed before the insurgents.
The fighting also began in Lashkar Gah, one of the country’s largest cities that is at the heart of the Taliban fiefdom, in Helmand province, where besieged government forces hoped to maintain control of the capital (Archived as: Taliban take Ghazni, the 10th city in Afghanistan).
“The Taliban use civilian houses to protect themselves”
Today, the Taliban seized a police station there that was attacked the day before with a suicide car bomb and some of the officers surrendered while others retreated to the governor’s office, which remains controlled by the government, said Nasima Niazi, a lawmaker. Helmand.
Niazi criticized the air offensive over the area, noting that it could cause casualties among the population because “the Taliban use civilian houses to protect themselves, and the government, without paying any attention to civilians, carried out the air strikes” (Archived as: Taliban take Ghazni, the 10th city in Afghanistan).
The United States would have carried out some of the attacks to support local forces
Given the limited power of the Afghan air force, the United States is believed to have carried out some of the attacks to support local forces. Aircraft tracking data suggested that B-52 bombers, F-15 fighters, drones and other authorized Air Force aircraft participated in the night-time fighting across the country, according to Australian security firm The Cavell Group.
The United States Air Force Central Command in Qatar did not respond to a request for comment. Meanwhile, the Taliban appeared to be pressing in the provincial capital of Ghazni, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Kabul. Wahidullah Jumazada, spokesman for the governor of the region, acknowledged that the insurgents had launched attacks from various points in the capital, but insisted that the government maintains control.
The Taliban could have full control of the country
The success of the insurgent offensive raises questions about whether the Taliban will ever return to stalled peace talks in Qatar seeking to reach an inclusive and interim government, as the West hoped. Instead, they could seize power by force, or the country could plunge into a factional struggle as occurred after the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.
The latest US intelligence assessment indicated that Kabul could come under insurgent pressure in 30 days and that, if the current trend continues, the Taliban could have full control of the country in a couple of months (With information from AP).
The United States keeps its distance in the fight of Taliban and Afghan forces
Afghanistan’s government forces are collapsing faster than America’s military leaders thought possible a few months ago, when President Joe Biden ordered a total withdrawal of his troops. However, there is little interest in the White House, the Pentagon and among the American public to try to stop the defeat and it is probably too late to do so.
Biden has made it clear that he has no intention of changing the decision he made earlier in the year, even as the result seems to indicate that the Taliban will take over the country. Now that most of the US troops have withdrawn and the Taliban is gaining ground, US military leaders have not pressured the president to reverse his decision. They know that the only real option would be for the president to restart an armed conflict that he has already decided to end.
Taliban have seized several cities with astonishing speed
The Taliban, which ruled the country from 1996 until US troops invaded Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, seized three more provincial capitals on Wednesday and one more today, the 10th that insurgents have quickly captured in a week. and that has given them control of two-thirds of the country.
The insurgents do not have air capability and are outnumbered by US-trained security forces, but they have taken over the territory with astonishing speed. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said the Afghans still have time to avoid a final defeat.
“They must fight for themselves, fight for their nation”: Joe Biden
“No possible outcome has to be inevitable, including the fall of Kabul,” Kirby told reporters. “It does not have to be this way. It really depends on the kind of political and military leadership that Afghans can muster to reverse this. ”
Joe Biden made a similar argument Tuesday, when he told reporters that US troops have done everything they can in the last 20 years to help Afghans: “They must fight for themselves, fight for their nation,” he said. .
Biden’s position is to end the conflict
The United States continues to provide support to the Afghan military with a limited number of airstrikes, but so far they have not had a strategic impact and are scheduled to conclude once the United States formally ceases its involvement in the conflict on August 31.
Biden could continue the airstrikes past that date, but that option is unlikely considering his firm stance on ending the conflict. “I suspect that the August 31 deadline will be final,” said Carter Malkasian, who has advised US military leaders in Afghanistan and Washington (With information from AP).
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