Combat intensifies as the Taliban siege three major cities

Afghan security officials with guns in Herat (July 31, 2021)

Combat is reported to be taking place in many parts of Herat

Combat is raging around three major cities in southern and western Afghanistan as Taliban militants are trying to capture them from government forces.

Taliban fighters have entered parts of Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar.

They have achieved rapid growth in rural areas since it was announced that almost all foreign troops would go by September.

But the fate of these major cities can be decisive in the face of humanitarian crises and fears of how long government troops can last.

Fundamentalist Islamist militias are already believed to have occupied up to half of Afghanistan’s entire territory, including the favorable border crossing between Iran and Pakistan.

1 MP Kandahar He told the BBC that tens of thousands of people have already been evacuated, humanitarian disasters are imminent, and the city is in serious danger of collapse.

Guru Ahmad Kamin said the situation was getting worse over time and the fighting in the city was the most serious in 20 years.

He said the Taliban now sees Kandahar as a major focus, a city they want to be a temporary capital. If it falls, the other five or six states in the area will also be lost, Kamin said.

Thousands evacuated in Kandahar during the battle between the army and the Taliban

Thousands evacuated in Kandahar during the battle between the army and the Taliban

He said the Taliban fighters were on several sides of the city and had a large civilian population, so government troops would not be able to use heavy weapons if the militants were completely inside.

of HeratThe Taliban fighters invaded the southern part of an economically important city, intensifying the clash, a Toro News reporter said.

There are reports of battles in at least five different locations.

The United States is still conducting airstrikes to assist Afghan troops regaining the area around the airport.

Security guards outside the UN facility near the airport were killed on Friday after the UN described it as a deliberate Taliban attack.

Residents say there are few safe places in the city and some are armed to protect themselves.

Former commander Ismail Khan, who fought the Soviet army in the 1980s, launched an armed movement to protect the city.

of Lashkar GahRebels, the capital of southern Helmand, reportedly remain within two kilometers of the city center, although government troops succeeded in blocking the advance overnight.

Afghan military commanders said the militants had caused serious casualties.

Local sources told the BBC that the Taliban had been forced back after moving near the governor’s office on Friday.

“Islamic Emirate”

The EU’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Thomas Niclason, said he believed the war would be exacerbated.

He told the BBC’s international correspondent Lyse Doucet that he was afraid that the Taliban’s thinking would “rebuild what was in the past, the Islamic Emirate.”

And former British Army chief General David Richards warned that the international withdrawal could lead to a demoralization of Afghan troops, leading to Taliban domination and perhaps a new threat to international terrorism.

Humanitarian organizations have also warned that the Taliban will continue to attack, creating a major crisis in the coming months. Due to lack of food, water and services, camps for refugees are overcrowded.

Map showing full Taliban or government controlled areas updated on July 29, 2021

Map showing full Taliban or government controlled areas updated on July 29, 2021

In November 2001, the US military and its NATO and regional allies expelled the Taliban from power.

The group contained Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda figures associated with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

However, despite its continued international presence, despite billions of dollars in support and training for Afghan government forces, the Taliban were reorganized and gradually regained power.

In February 2020, then-US President Donald Trump and his allies agreed to develop an agreement with Tullivan on the withdrawal of international combat forces.

This year, President Joe Biden announced that the withdrawal will take place by September.