Taliban offensive accelerates to take the second largest city in Afghanistan

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Afghanistan Update

The Taliban occupied Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city, and began to encircle Kabul because the British Secretary of Defense warned that the country could become a failed country after the United States withdrew.

After weeks of fierce fighting, Islamic militias also occupied Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, and now control at least 14 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.

The Taliban have occupied most of the northern, southern and western parts of Afghanistan and are approaching the capital, Kabul In order to overthrow President Ashraf Ghani weakened the government.

The British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said that Afghanistan may once again become a safe haven for al-Qaeda and other international terrorists. Al-Qaida’s presence in the country prompted an invasion led by the United States nearly 20 years ago to oust the Taliban.

“I am absolutely worried that failed countries will breed these types of people,” he told Sky News on Friday.

Wallace criticizes Washington Decided to stand by The goal is to withdraw the remaining troops by the end of the month, and said: “I don’t think this is the right time or decision, because of course al Qaeda may make a comeback.” He also told the BBC that Afghanistan is “going towards a civil war.” .

The British government said on Friday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will convene a meeting of the Cobra Emergency Committee to “discuss the current situation in the country.”

U.S. and U.K. said they would send troops to Kabul Evacuate embassy staff People are increasingly worried that if a political settlement is not reached, the capital may be under imminent attack. The Taliban have little interest in such transactions.

The Pentagon will send a reserve detachment of 3,000 soldiers and 3,500 soldiers to Kuwait in the next two days to prevent further deterioration of the security situation. The UK will deploy another 600 soldiers to speed up the evacuation of some diplomats and Afghans working with the British army.

After attacking most of Afghanistan’s villages in recent months, the Taliban within a week Overthrow the provincial capital After the provincial capital, the balance of power in the country was greatly changed.

After the recent occupation of Kandahar, Herat and Rashkarga, Only Mazar-i-Sharif, one Northern fortress The local anti-Taliban warlord and Jalalabad in the south of Kabul were the last big cities outside the capital to resist Islamists. The Taliban now controls more than half of the country’s territory.

As the Islamic radicals launched their offensive, Taliban representatives were still in Qatar for talks with a series of governments including the United States, Britain, Pakistan, China, India and several other countries.

In a statement issued late on Thursday, Doha said that the participants in the negotiations had agreed to “speed up efforts to reach a political settlement and a comprehensive ceasefire as soon as possible.”

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, called for “an immediate cessation of attacks on cities” and warned that “a government imposed by force will be a pariah country.”

However, analysts doubt that the Taliban leaders in Qatar can control the ground forces of the rebel groups, many of whom operate autonomously there.

“The question is to what extent Mullah Baradal [the Taliban co-founder] Rudra Chaudhuri, a lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, said that he and his crew in Doha will be able to shape the minds of strong fighters who have never been in an airplane.

“In my opinion, Taliban leaders and Kalashnikovs on motorcycles seem to be less interested in what Baradar said.”

Additional report by Sarah Provan and Sebastian Payne in London

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