The Taliban accelerated their unstoppable pace in Afghanistan: on Thursday, August 12, the rebels conquered Kandahar in the south and Herat in the west, the country’s second and third largest cities, respectively. On Friday, they captured Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province (southwest). In the days before the United States planned to withdraw its troops on August 31, the rapid collapse of these major cities constituted a devastating setback for the Kabul regime. There are now only three major cities in the country, including the capital Kabul, which is controlled by the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
This week, the Taliban continued their lightning offensive, capturing important capital cities across the country. They can now occupy Kabul, where the US government is preparing to evacuate its consular employees and their nationals. Washington has decided to send thousands of soldiers and officially withdraw its diplomats.
The insurgents now control more than half of the country’s approximately 400 regions. With the fall of Kandahar, Herat, and Rashkar Gah, “religious students” are now in power in 15 of 34 provincial capitals, including Ghazni, south of Kabul, and Qala-e, the capital of Badghis Province. Naw. The northwest of the country. The entire southern part of Afghanistan is in their hands.
“The situation is catastrophic”
In the north, this is the center of the anti-Taliban resistance movement Before the fall of their regime in 2001, with the intervention of the United States, almost all the territory fell into the hands of the attackers. The accumulation of these rapid military advances led to a low morale of the Afghan security forces, and sometimes they landed or fled without fighting. Sources close to the Secret Service believe that fatigue, insufficient supply and poor management are among the reasons for the decline of these cities.
Herat is an important cultural and economic center, 150 kilometers from Iran, and has been protected by the Afghan army and the militia of the Iranian war “lord” Ismail Khan for the past two weeks. A charismatic figure of the anti-Soviet “jihad” in the 1980s. The soldiers initially successfully repelled the attack, but on Thursday, the situation changed: the video showed Taliban fighters marching around the historic city palace with weapons.
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