The Taliban continues to take control of portions of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American troops from the country.
According to the latest reports, the Taliban has now managed to capture six Afghan provincial capitals.
A series of military victories
The Taliban captured its first provincial capital on Friday, the city of Zaranj. That was the same day that the group assassinated Dawa Khan Menapal, the country’s chief media and information officer, and it was the same day that the group tried to assassinate Bismillah Mohammadi, the country’s acting minister of defense.
The Taliban continued its assault over the weekend, capturing three more provincial capitals: Sheberghan, Sar-e-Pul, and Kunduz.
Then, on Monday, the Taliban captured two more capital cities, Taloqan and Samangan. So, altogether, the Taliban has now managed to capture six provincial capitals.
The Taliban has also been trying to capture a number of strategically important cities, but Afghan troops have been able to hold them off. So far, the strategically most important city that the group captured is Kunduz, which is the location of the country’s northern mineral resources as well as an important trade route with nearby countries.
But, considering the speed with which the Taliban has just taken six provincial capitals – out of a possible 34 – concerns are growing.
This all comes after the United States pulled most of its troops out of Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden, following a plan put forth by former President Donald Trump, has ordered all American troops stationed in Afghanistan to return home by September 11, 2021, which is the twenty-year anniversary of American troops entering the country.
So far, about 95 percent of America’s troops have left Afghanistan, and this is what the Taliban is has been taking advantage of.
The Taliban was supposed to be negotiating a power-sharing agreement with the Afghanistan government. But, its recent actions have made it clear that the group has decided to forego the negotiation table and to instead use force to regain power.
A number of outside sources, including a U.S. envoy, have been urging the Taliban to return to the negotiations. But, there is no sign that the group has any intention of doing so.