- Afghan Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi says authorities forces have been in a “very sensitive military situation”.
- Onslaught got here simply hours after Washington introduced US forces on the bottom had accomplished greater than 90% of their withdrawal.
- Important US air assist for the Afghan forces has been massively curtailed by the handover.
The Taliban launched a serious assault on a provincial capital in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the primary because the US navy started its ultimate drawdown of troops from the nation.
Fierce preventing erupted within the western metropolis of Qala-i-Naw, the capital of Badghis, with the Taliban seizing police headquarters and places of work of the nation’s spy company.
Afghanistan’s Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi stated authorities forces have been in a “very sensitive military situation”, including that “the war is raging” with the Taliban.
The onslaught got here simply hours after Washington introduced US forces on the bottom had accomplished greater than 90% of their withdrawal from Afghanistan, and because the Kabul authorities held talks with Taliban representatives in neighbouring Iran.
The Taliban have waged a dizzying marketing campaign throughout Afghanistan since US and NATO forces introduced the ultimate withdrawal from the nation in early Might, seizing dozens of rural districts and stirring fears that the federal government is in disaster.
“The enemy has entered the city, all the districts have fallen,” Badghis governor Hessamuddin Shams instructed reporters in a textual content message.
Badghis provincial council chief Abdul Aziz Bek confirmed the assault, saying some safety officers had surrendered to the Taliban.
“The provincial council officials have fled to an army camp in the city. Fighting continues in the city,” added Badghis provincial council member Zia Gul Habibi.
She stated the Taliban had entered the town’s police headquarters and the native workplace of the nation’s spy company, the Nationwide Directorate of Safety.
In a separate video message despatched to reporters, Shams tried to calm the residents of the town, whilst he appeared armed with a rifle with gunfire rattling within the distance.
“My message is please keep your calm. I assure you that we will, all of us, together defend the city,” he stated.
As information of the assault unfold, social media was flooded with movies of the struggle for the town, with some movies exhibiting armed Taliban fighters on motorbikes getting into Qala-i-Naw as onlookers cheered.
The struggle for the town coincided with a high-level summit throughout the border in Iran, the place an Afghan delegation met with Taliban representatives in Tehran, in keeping with the Iranian international ministry.
Opening the Tehran talks, Iran’s Overseas Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed the US departure from its japanese neighbour however warned: “Today the people and political leaders of Afghanistan must make difficult decisions for the future of their country.”
Final week, all US and NATO forces left Bagram Air Base close to Kabul — the command centre for anti-Taliban operations — successfully wrapping up their exit after 20 years of navy involvement that started within the wake of the September 11 assaults.
Important US air assist for the Afghan forces has been massively curtailed by the handover.
For months the Taliban have been successfully surrounding a number of provincial capitals throughout the nation, with observers predicting that the have been ready for the whole withdrawal of international forces earlier than ordering an onslaught on city areas.
After they routed a lot of the north in latest weeks, the autumn of Badghis would additional tighten the Taliban’s grip on western Afghanistan. Their forces have additionally inched nearer to the close by metropolis of Herat, close to the border with Iran.
If the Taliban seize Qala-i-Naw it is going to be of “strategic value as it creates a psychological effect of Afghan forces rapidly losing territory like dominoes against an unstoppable force”, stated Afghanistan knowledgeable Nishank Motwani.
Afghan defence officers have stated they intend to deal with securing main cities, roads and border cities within the face of quite a few Taliban offensives.