Sunday 20 June 2021
The government in Kabul is under pressure
The Taliban set their sights on the provincial capitals
Since NATO withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban have occupied more and more areas of the country. In the north, the Islamists are now marching towards two regional metropolises. Meanwhile, President Ghani is heading to Washington to discuss the situation.
The hardline Islamic Taliban movement continues its military offensive against the government in Afghanistan. Within 24 hours, they occupied at least six other regions of the crisis country, local officials confirmed to the German news agency (dpa). She added that in the provinces of Tachar and Frib in the north of the country, they are now advancing to the provincial capitals.
In all, since US and other NATO forces began withdrawing on May 1, the Islamists have occupied 41 new territories. Afghanistan is divided into 34 provinces and about 400 provinces. According to observers, the Taliban is trying to consolidate its control in areas that previously had a strong presence. In many newly conquered areas, only district centers were formerly under government control.
Afghan security forces struggle with the low morale of their soldiers and police officers. Several areas were left without a fight. On Saturday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani exchanged the ministers of interior and defense and held other key positions in the security sector.
Peace talks immediately
The international forces are well advanced in their withdrawal, and the last soldiers should have left the country by 9/11 at the latest. In this regard, US President Joe Biden will receive Ghani at the White House next Friday. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Biden will welcome Ghani, the head of Afghanistan’s Supreme Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, to Washington.
Psaki said Ghani and Abdullah’s visit “will confirm the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan while the military withdrawal continues.” Biden announced in mid-April that US forces would withdraw by 9/11 at the latest. This also ends NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Experts fear the Taliban advance.
Psaki has now reiterated that the United States is committed to providing diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian support to the Afghan people even after the withdrawal. The United States also supported peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. However, talks are still ongoing.