KABUL—Afghan govt defenses collapsed in important towns in northern Afghanistan, as the Taliban seized the strategic hub of Kunduz and overran two other provincial capitals, taking edge of the American army withdrawal.
Hours right after taking Kunduz early Sunday, the Taliban captured the capitals of Sar-e-Pul and Takhar provinces, all but getting rid of the government’s presence in substantial swaths of the country’s north. The insurgents now seized two of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday were being battling govt forces on the outskirts of key city facilities Herat and Kandahar.
The Taliban, who swept via the country’s rural parts previously this summer, have managed to make these dramatic gains even as the U.S. continues airstrikes in assist of the Afghan govt from bases in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere. Those airstrikes, on the other hand, are due to stop Aug. 31, in accordance with President Biden’s final decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
The U.S.’s Nationwide Security Council did not directly address the activities in Kunduz, and on Sunday a spokesman referred to Friday’s comment from White Property press secretary Jen Psaki. “We realized from the beginning—and the president would be the very first to say this—that there are hard options a commander-in-chief demands to make on behalf of the American people today,’’ she explained.
The U.S. has now pulled out all fight forces, except for a few hundred troops shielding the U.S. Embassy and other American installations in Kabul. Washington has also been withdrawing contractors on whom the Afghan army relied to services its possess warplanes and army helicopters. That has minimal Kabul’s potential to deliver air assist to its troops who, mainly because of Taliban handle of the countryside, normally just cannot be supplied by road.