AFGHANISTAN. Kabul: After capturing over 200 districts for the past three months, the Taliban group has now launched its offensive attacks on provincial capitals of Afghanistan. Around ten capital cities of ten provinces fell to the Taliban in less than a week.
The capital cities of Takhar, Sarapol, Nimruz, Jawzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Baghlan, Farah, Badakhshan and Ghazni were invaded and captured by the Taliban. The Taliban attacks on major cities were pushed back by the local uprising and security forces from Herat, Helmand, and Balkh province.
According to the reports, Herat and Helmand provinces are under heavy attacks. The Taliban attacks in Herat were repulsed from the south and west of the city, but since they have taken position inside the civilian houses, their attacks continue for over two weeks now.
On Tuesday, the Taliban started a new round of clashes with security in Herat.
Security officials in Herat and Helmand said that the Taliban had huge losses in large cities. A local force in Herat told Transcontinental Times that some of the Taliban fighters were killed in Herat.
“They (Taliban) are not even familiar with our alleys. We hunt them. And that’s why they are killed in our ambush. We won’t let take over Herat,” a local force from Herat said in a condition of anonymity via a phone call.
Raging clashes in the country
The clashes are raging across Afghanistan as the US and foreign troops withdrawal is scheduled to complete on August 31. According to MailOnline, US President Joe Biden has ordered B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships to target the Taliban in Afghanistan’s major cities like Herat, Helmand, and Kandahar.
The decision was criticized by ex-president Hamid Karzai who said that the US airstrikes targeted the civilian houses and if they continue these operations, he will stand up against the US.
The recent clashes burned many houses in many cities and forced people to flee their houses in unprecedented numbers. At least 244,000 people were displaced since May, the UN said.
Taliban also captured much of the provincial capitals in South Afghanistan.
After the Taliban took over Kunduz, Takhar, and other provinces, citizens of those provinces fled to Kabul and sat up their tents in Kabul streets. Meanwhile, many Afghan citizens are fleeing toward the borders with Iran and Turkey to find shelter.
“For the sake of God, it’s been over a week that I can’t go back to my home due to the fighting. I don’t have more food and money and a shelter to sleep the night. Where should I go?,” Nemat, a displaced person who fled his home from west of Herat city told Transcontinental Times.
Many Afghans and foreign activists seek a way out of this crisis by sanctioning the Pakistan by United Nations Security Council. The largest and trended hashtag #SanctionPakistan which was launched by Afghan social media users and other nations for the past weeks criticized Pakistan for “providing safe havens” for the Taliban. The Hashtag drew the attention of the US Pentagon. Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby at a press conference on Monday said that talks with Pakistan continue over the insurgents’ safe-havens.
“We continue to have conversations with Pakistani leadership about the safe havens that exist along that border between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Kirby said. “We’re mindful that — that those safe havens are only providing a source of more insecurity, more instability inside Afghanistan.”
“We want all neighboring countries, all neighboring countries, to — to not take actions that make the situation in Afghanistan more dangerous than it is already, and to continue to try to use international pressure to get a negotiated peaceful political settlement to this war,” said Kirby.
The UN envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, said, “The UN Security Council should state such an attempt by the group as the human toll of this strategy is extremely distressing and the political message is even more deeply disturbing.”
The UN envoy said Afghanistan is now at a dangerous turning point, adding that ahead lies either a genuine peace negotiation or a tragically intertwined set of crises: an increasingly brutal conflict combined with an acute humanitarian situation and multiplying human rights abuses.
In the past weeks, the war in Afghanistan has intensified. The Taliban made significant territorial gains for the past three months by taking over 200 districts in different provinces. The group has now begun to attack the larger cities but was faced by the resistance of security and local forces.