Taliban squeeze Kabul and occupy the 10th capital of Afghanistan


Kabul-Taliban, Afghanistan, occupied the strategic capital near Kabul on Thursday. Terrorists wiped Afghanistan for a week just weeks before the end of US military missions in Afghanistan.

Occupation of Ghazni blocks the important highways that connect the capital of Afghanistan with the southern states of the country. Similarly, about 20 years after foreign troops arrived to expel the Taliban government, they were assaulted as part of the rebels.

Although Kabul itself is not directly threatened, the loss of Ghazni has strengthened control of the resurrected Taliban, which now accounts for about two-thirds of the country, and thousands of people are home to it. Was chased.

According to the latest U.S. military intelligence, Kabul could be under terrorist pressure within 30 days, allowing the Taliban to take full control of the country within a few months if current trends are maintained. There is a possibility of becoming. The Afghan government may eventually be forced to withdraw to protect the capital and several other cities.

The onslaught represents an astonishing collapse of Afghan troops, especially when Taliban terrorists are on US-made humvees and pickup trucks, with the Pentagon in combat, training of those troops, and efforts to rebuild. Update the question about where the more than $ 830 billion spent went. The M-16 was thrown across the shoulder.

It also raised fears that the Taliban would turn the country’s clock back and re-impose a brutal regime. There are already reports of repressive restrictions and revenge killings on women.

On August 12, 2021, the Taliban flag flies in the square of the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan. (Gulabuddin Amiri / AP Photo)

Afghan security forces and the government have not responded to repeated requests for comment throughout the days of combat. President Ashraf Ghani is relying on his special forces, warlord militia, and US air power to rally counterattacks before the US and NATO withdraw at the end of the month.

On Thursday, terrorists raised a white flag engraved with the Declaration of Islamic Faith in the city of Ghazni, just 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Kabul. Ghazni lawmaker Mohammad Arif Ramani said the city had fallen into terrorism. Ghazni parliamentarian Amanullah Kamrani also told AP, adding that the two bases outside the city were still held by government forces.

Kamurani claimed that Ghazni’s governor and police chief had arranged to escape with the Taliban after their surrender. Taliban videos and photos are allegedly showing the governor’s convoy passing by the Taliban terrorists as part of the deal.

Later Thursday, the Afghan Ministry of Interior said the governor and his agent had been arrested for the alleged transaction. Officials were not immediately asked for comment.

Terrorists flocked to one humvee seized and drove one major road in Ghazni. Behind it, I saw the golden dome of the mosque near the governor’s office and shouted, “God is wonderful!” Terrorists hugging the rifle later gathered in a roundabout for an instant speech by the commander. One terrorist had a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. They smiled like children, and curious people gathered around them.

The loss of Ghazni along the Kabul-Kandahar highway, which connects the capital of Afghanistan with the southern states, not only complicates the supply and movement of government troops, but can also put pressure on the capital from the south.

Already, the Taliban’s week-long electric shock has seen terrorists occupy nine other state capitals throughout the country. Many are located in the northeastern corner of the country, which also puts pressure on Kabul.

General Azimal Omar Sinwari, angry at reporting to Al Jazeera on the Pan-Arab satellite news network about a previously surrendered army in Kunduz, said the channel would be investigated by authorities. Qatar-based Al Jazeera, where the Taliban has its diplomatic office, said it relies on a reputable international correspondent because it currently has no correspondents in Kunduz, and used the material in its surrender report. did.

Damaged clinic
On August 8, 2021, a damaged clinic was found after an air strike on the Taliban in the city of Lashkar Gah, Helmand, in southern Kabul, Afghanistan. (Abdul Harik / AP photo)

Meanwhile, fighting intensified in Lashkar Gah, one of Afghanistan’s largest cities in central Helmand’s Taliban. There, the surrounding government forces wanted to retain the state capital.

On Wednesday, a suicide car bomb marked the latest wave of violence targeting the capital’s local police headquarters. Helmand lawmaker Nashima Niaj said the Taliban had occupied the building by Thursday, some police surrendered to terrorists, and others withdrew to a nearby governor’s office still held by government forces. ..

Niaji believed that the Taliban attack had killed members of security forces, but said there were no numbers. Another suicide car bomb targeted a state prison, but the government still holds it, she said. With other advances in the Taliban, terrorists released hundreds of members last week, strengthening their ranks while seizing US-supplied weapons and vehicles.

Niaji criticized ongoing airstrikes targeting the area, saying civilians were likely injured and killed.

“The Taliban used private homes to protect themselves, and the government carried out airstrikes without paying attention to the civilians,” she said.

Due to the limited and confused air power of Afghanistan, the US Air Force is believed to be on strike to support Afghan troops. According to Australia-based security firm The Cavell Group, air tracking data show that U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers, F-15 fighters, drones, and other aircraft were involved in overnight combat nationwide. Suggests.

Qatar-based US Air Force Central Command did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Afghanistan peace talks
Afghan US Peace Envoy Zalmei Harilzad arrives in Doha, Qatar on August 12, 2021 for Afghan peace talks. (Hussein Said / AP photo)

The success of the Taliban offensive also casts doubt on whether it will rejoin long-term peace talks in Qatar aimed at moving Afghanistan towards a comprehensive interim government, as the West wanted. .. Instead, the Taliban could take power by force-or the country could split into faction battles, as it did after the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989.

Ross Wilson, ChargĂ© d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Kabul, criticized the Taliban on Twitter Thursday.

“The Taliban’s remarks in Doha are not similar to their actions in Badakhshan, Ghazni, Helmand and Kandahar,” the diplomat wrote. “Attempts to monopolize power through violence, fear and war only lead to international isolation.”

In Doha, U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will meet with Chinese, Pakistani, and Russian diplomats to re-evaluate the Taliban as an international Paria if the Taliban continues to attack, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price. I tried to build a united front for. Khalilzad is also planning to meet with the Afghan government and Taliban officials as the fighting is proceeding unabated.

In Germany, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned the Taliban not to try to seize power by force and to impose strict interpretations of Islamic law that severely restricts rights. Mars told German public television ZDF that the Taliban would not receive a “penny” of development assistance from Germany. This is currently estimated at around 430 million euros ($ 504 million) annually.

Although multiple fronts expanded the government’s special operations forces, regular troops often fled the battlefield.

By Tameem Akhgar, Rahim Faiez, and Jon Gambrell

Associated Press