The day began with the Taliban taking over their tenth provincial capital, Ghazni, 150 kilometers from Kabul. The news is bad, but it gets worse: By evening, the Taliban had taken over Herat in the West, hoisting their flag outside a police headquarters in the country’s third-largest city. And since it was Friday in Afghanistan, Afghan officials quoted by the Associated Press confirmed that “theological students” had occupied Kandahar, a large southern city home to the fundamentalist movement.
“The enemy fled” from Herat, overjoyed, on Twitter, Zabihullah Mujadih, one of the group representatives. An AFP correspondent in the city watched the raising of the flag and spoke to a senior security officer who confirmed the withdrawal of troops loyal to the government “to prevent further destruction of the city.”
Herat, located 150 km from the border with Iran, the capital of the province of the same name, was under siege for several days. It is the same in Kandahar, from where there have been reports of increasingly violent clashes. When the city collapsed at night, according to AP, key government officials and their officials managed to get to the airport and escape.
A week ago, the Islamist militia made up almost half of the country’s districts, but it did not control major urban centers; it now controls 12 of the 34 capitals and almost all major cities from north to south, with the exception of Kabul. … Ghazni is located in a dangerous place 150 km from the capital and on the main road connecting Kabul with southern Afghanistan…
Against this backdrop, the United States has spent the past few days trying to reopen talks between the Taliban and the government in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where Washington negotiated its withdrawal with the radicals. In Doha since Tuesday Ambassador of the Americans Zalmay Khalilzad, met with Taliban officials and envoys of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
According to Al-Jazeera, the Afghan government delegation has already offered the Taliban to share power in exchange for an end to the violence. some mEdia Afghans confirmed the news, but no official comment followed.
In parallel, Khalilzad met this Thursday with representatives of other powers such as China and Russia. from the meeting to the left statement calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities and accelerating the peace process. To put pressure on the “theological students”, these countries declare that they do not recognize any government “imposed by military force.”
At the same time, both the United States and the United Kingdom decided to expedite the departure of their civilians from Afghanistan… A day after denying any intention to evacuate the embassy in Kabul, Washington announced that it would cut its personnel to a minimum and send 3,000 soldiers to the city’s airport, where they would coordinate these exits. London is preparing to do the same, sending 600 soldiers to withdraw 200 diplomats and some of the 4,000 Afghans who are seeking refuge in the United Kingdom after working with the British.