Taliban seizes major Afghan border crossings with Iran


Herat, Afghanistan (AP) —The Taliban on Thursday seized another important Afghan border crossing with Iran this time, according to Afghan officials and Iranian media. The seizures are part of the Taliban surge once the US military completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

This was the third border taken by rebels last week after previously occupying the crossroads between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. With the Taliban’s victory, some countries closed consulates in the region, and Tajikistan convened reserve forces to strengthen its southern border with Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said the Taliban dominated the Islam Qala intersection in western Herat on Thursday. Officials in Herat spoke on condition of anonymity because the reporter was not authorized to disclose the information.

According to Iranian media, Afghan soldiers in the Islam Qala border, the main transit route between Afghanistan and Iran, fled their position and fled to Iran for evacuation. The intersection is about 120 km (75 miles) west of the capital city of Herat.

Afghanistan has seen a surge in the Taliban as the withdrawal of the United States and NATO has been strengthened over the past few months. On Tuesday, the US Central Command said 90% of the withdrawal of US troops and equipment from Afghanistan had been completed. The United States says the last army will be gone by August.

On Sunday, the Taliban seized control of several districts from the escape of Afghan troops, with hundreds of them fleeing across the border to Tajikistan.

The Taliban has made progress nationwide since mid-April when President Joe Biden announced the end of Afghanistan’s “eternal war.” But their most important interest was in the northern half of the country, the traditional base of US alliance warlords who helped defeat the Taliban in 2001.

The Taliban currently control about one-third of Afghanistan’s 421 districts and district centers.

___

Fayez reported from Kabul, Afghanistan. Associated Press writer Nacelle Karimi in Tehran, Iran contributed to this report.

Posted on