Taliban Continues to Gain Ground, Takes Cities as US Nears Pullout

The Taliban has recently taken the districts in Takhar, Balkh, Logar, Samangan, Kunduz, and Jawzjan provinces as part of its ongoing offensive after the US announced it was leaving Afghanistan.

“Right now, I hear the sound of bullets. The Taliban have appeared in the alleys and back alleys of Kunduz, and there is panic all over the city,” said Amruddin Wali, a member of Kunduz’s provincial council. 

Wolesi Jirga Member Haleema Sadaf confirmed that Faizabad and Khanaqa districts in northern Jawzan province had already fallen by Sunday. 

The Taliban has continuously released videos of their captures since May in areas that are sparsely defended by Afghan troops. 

The nine districts are the most recent that was taken by the Taliban in just 24 hours after already taking two dozen over the weekend.

Provincial Council Member Mohammad Nader Saeedi said security forces on deserted military bases in Almar, Qaisar, Pashtonkot, and Abgardan areas during the weekend.

Governorate Spokesperson Hamid Mubarez however disputed the Taliban’s claims and said there is heavy fighting but no districts have been fully captured yet.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed that they would not yield to the Taliban offensive after appointing a new defense minister and a new chief of staff. 

“We will not surrender to terrorists. We will not surrender to ominous plans,” said Ghani.

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