Taliban seizes three provincial capitals and targets big cities

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Afghanistan Update

The Taliban have taken control of three other provincial capitals in Afghanistan because Joe Biden reiterated his decision to withdraw US troops from the country, even though the militant group has made extensive territorial gains.

The Islamic insurgent group occupied nine or more than a quarter of the country’s provincial capitals, including Puli Khumri (Puli Khumri), a strategically important part of the journey from traditional Kabul to Kabul. city. Anti-Taliban NorthThe organization controls more than half of about 400 border crossings in Afghanistan, mainly in rural areas and some economically important.

The Taliban have turned their attention to the big cities of Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif, the main resistance fortress in the north. Diplomats and analysts said the organization’s strategy is to encircle Kabul and besiege the Afghan army in the capital to put pressure on President Ashraf Ghani’s government. surrender.

The rapid progress shocked the experts, but Biden reiterated his intention to withdraw Remaining U.S. Army Leaving the country by the end of this month, thinking that Afghans should protect themselves.

Biden told reporters on Tuesday: “Look, we have spent more than $1 trillion in 20 years to train and equip more than 300,000 Afghan troops with modern equipment.” “Afghan leaders must unite… They must help. Fight for yourself, fight for their country.”

U.S. has Close its largest base A limited number of air strikes are being carried out from abroad, but analysts say these efforts have not slowed the Taliban’s offensive.

On Tuesday, the fall of Faizabad in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan marked another strategic setback for Ghani. When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s, the city was heavily fortified and far away from the Taliban’s sphere of influence.

The President of the United States has faced fierce criticism in the region. Some people believe that the hasty withdrawal of troops has given the Taliban the upper hand. Low morale Afghan armed forces.

Other countries, including the United Kingdom and India, have also reduced their presence in the country. New Delhi withdrew its personnel from its consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif on Tuesday and told its citizens to leave the country. Analysts said that these decisions show their lack of confidence in the ability of the Ghani government to resist Taliban attacks.

On Wednesday, Acting Finance Minister Khalid Payenda resigned and left Afghanistan, a setback that could further weaken the Ghani government.

As residents flee the fighting and Islamist atrocities, the organization’s profits have triggered a large number of domestic refugees. According to reports, the Taliban executed rivals and deprived women of their freedom in areas under their control.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, but were expelled by a US-led invasion after Al Qaeda launched a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The insurgents want to establish an Islamic emirate in Afghanistan.

The prospect of a prolonged civil war or a full-scale takeover by the Taliban has raised concerns in Europe Potential refugee crisis“We don’t want to fall into chaos,” a senior EU official said.

The official said that hopes for a negotiated solution to the conflict are fading. The official said: “The withdrawal of American, European and other troops is expected.” “People have always hoped that this will happen at the same time as a political agreement is reached at the negotiating table. This is not the case now.”

But other diplomats said that according to the 2020 Taliban agreement signed by the Donald Trump administration, the unconditional nature of the U.S. withdrawal gives the organization little incentive to compromise.

Another Western diplomat said: “The way the United States withdraws troops, they have not thought about,’How do you properly handover?'”. “Afghan security forces and morale in Afghanistan have been severely hit.”

Additional report by Henry Foy in Brussels With Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad

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