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This article is available in German: LINK.
The Taliban is trying its best to distract Kabul from the defense of the capitals of the southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces as well as in western Herat, which it has been trying to take over for several weeks now. The group has stepped up attacks on cities throughout northern Afghanistan, so far successfully.
Afghan National Security Forces claimed counter-offensive operations in the cities as Taliban militants mount around the outskirts, and civilians are fleeing the areas.
People suffer not only from the clashes, but also from regular air strikes on targets inside the cities, as Taliban militants often hide in civilian settlements. On August 8, a Helmand provincial council member said government air attacks had damaged a health clinic and a high school in Lashkar Gah.
At the very moment when the government forces are mainly concentrated on the protection of the large southern cities, the Taliban wastes no time and takes control over other provincial capitals one by one
The first provincial capital came under the Taliban’s control on August 6th. The city of Zaranj in Afghanistan’s western Nimruz province, located on the border with Iran and Pakistan fell almost without a fight. Taliban fighters entered the city in U.S. Humvee vehicles taken from the Afghan forces. They’re now used to patrol the streets of Zaranj.
The next day, the city of Sheberghan in northern Jawzjan province became the second provincial capital to be taken by the Taliban. According to the deputy governor, government forces and officials had retreated to the airport on the outskirts of the city, where they were preparing to defend themselves.
On August 7th, the Taliban launched an advance in the city of Kunduz in north-eastern Afghanistan.According to local reports, the Afghan security forces retreated to the airport area, preparing for a counter-offensive.
Even the air support from the U.S. failed to prevent the loss of the city. U.S. B-52s bombed targets in Kunduz, starting major fires. During the day of fighting, some 50 to 70 civilians were reportedly killed.
On August 8, the town of Sar-e-Pol in northern Afghanistan fell under Taliban’s control. Government officials and the remaining forces had retreated to the army barracks about 3km from the city.
The city of Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province was taken over by the Taliban late on August 8.
The last but not the least on the list of the Taliban’s victories was the city of Aibak, the capital of Samangan in northern Afghanistan that fell in the early hours of August 9. The Taliban claimed that a commander and former member of parliament Mohammad Asif Nabi Jan had joined the Mujahideen along with his eight armed men.
The provincial capital of Balkh Province, Mazar-e Sharif, and the town of Gardez, the center of Paktia, in northern Afghanistan are likely to become the next trophies for the Taliban, as fierce clashes broke out in the cities’ outskirts.
Amid the Taliban’s advance, the U.S. and Great Britiain urged their citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options. Washington condemned the Taliban’s violent new offensive against Afghan cities.
The United Nations claimed that Afghanistan was descending into a situation of catastrophe so serious that it would have few, if any, parallels in this century.
Meanwhile, the MSM sound the alarm, forgetting that the entire responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan lies with the United States and its satellites.