Monday 02 August 2021
US Army conducts air strikes
The Taliban is likely to invade the provincial capital
For the first time in five years, the Taliban can regain control of the provincial capital. According to current reports, they are on the verge of capturing Lashkargah in the southwest of the country. Even the US military’s air strikes don’t seem to stop the attack.
The hardline Islamist Taliban movement is advancing more and more in the Afghan provincial capital of Shakargah. Local officials and residents said that after heavy fighting in recent days, they have now taken control of at least eight of the city’s 10 police districts. In the morning, fierce fighting broke out again in the middle.
If the city, with an estimated population of 200,000, falls in the south of the country, it will be the first provincial capital since 2016 that the Taliban can conquer. At that time they could briefly bring Kunduz in the north of the country under their control. It will also be a defeat for the United States, which officially ended its military operation in the country at the end of August. The US military continues to support the compressed Afghan armed forces with air strikes. The planes for this take off from outside Afghanistan, since the withdrawal from the country is practically complete.
Civilians flee the city
Provincial Council member Abd Achondsada said the Afghan government only maintains isolated facilities in Lashkargah, such as the governor’s residence, prison, police headquarters or military base. Civilians in the city would suffer greatly from the fighting and were fleeing from one urban area to another with their belongings.
Lashkargah has threatened to fall into the hands of the Taliban several times in the past few years. But US air strikes and US special forces support prevented this. According to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the United States again conducted air strikes on Taliban positions on Monday night. Since US and NATO forces began withdrawing from Afghanistan in early May, the Taliban have launched several attacks in the country. They now rule just over half of the country’s regions and threaten many provincial capitals. Finally, they also attacked the major cities of Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south. The peace process is still going on.