Just as the United States military sends more troops to assist with securing airports, getting people out of the embassy, and securing visas in Afghanistan, the Taliban makes significant moves to take over key cities.
On Friday, the Taliban captured three provincial capitals while maneuvering closer and closer to Kabul. In the battle for the capital of Helmand province, an opium hub, British, American, and NATO troops engaged in the bloodiest fights in 20 years.
In this particular battle, hundreds of troops were killed. The Taliban currently have control of 18 provincial capitals out of Afghanistan’s 34. In addition to Helmand, they took over Herat and Kandahar.
According to U.S. intelligence, the Taliban are likely to take control over Kabul within the next 30 days. If they continue down this path, they will have complete control over Afghanistan in a couple of months.
According to the leader of the provincial council in Helmand, Attaullah Afghan, Lashkar Gah was taken after heavy fighting for weeks. Finally, they raised a white flag and let the Taliban take control.
However, they still maintain control over three national army bases just outside the capital. Similar stories came out of the two other capitals.
With the United States sending more troops over, Britain and Canada also sent more soldiers to evacuate their embassies. As a result, many Afghanis are leaving their homes in fear.
Most are afraid of the Taliban taking control and reinstating a brutal and repressive regime that practically eliminates women’s rights and publicly executes people. Though diplomats are still meeting, peace talks in Qatar are at a standstill.
Even though the U.S. envoy to the peace talks requested an end to the attacks, the Taliban kept onward, moving toward the Logar province south of Kabul.
According to Bill Roggio with the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, the Afghan army has had many internal issues, from corruption to mismanagement. As a result, the troops are not well-equipped, and they are not invested in the fight.
However, the Taliban is highly invested in taking control, spending the better part of a decade working little by little to gain ground. Biden’s announcement of withdrawal gave them the opening to progress forward.
Defending Kabul from the Taliban is the main objective now. Herut and Helmand had held out as long as they could before the Taliban took over. Now it is Kabul’s turn.