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Taliban seizes a number of Afghan provincial capitals as U.S. nears withdrawal

A convoy of Afghan Particular Forces is seen throughout the rescue mission of a police officer besieged at a verify put up surrounded by Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021.

Danish Siddiqui | Reuters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Taliban continued its relentless takeover of Afghan territory on Monday, following a dramatic weekend that noticed the group seize 5 provincial capitals and prompted the State Division to induce all Individuals to go away the war-torn nation.

On Sunday, three Afghan cities together with the important thing northern metropolis of Kunduz, a serious industrial hub, fell to the Taliban.

The gorgeous string of battlefield reversals started Friday within the far western Nimroz province, the place U.S.-trained Afghan forces defending the capital of Zaranj deserted their positions.

The opposite provincial capitals below Taliban management are Sar-e Pul, Shibirghan and Taleqan, in response to The Related Press.

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on Saturday instructed all Americans to go away the nation “instantly,” including that they need to “not plan to depend on U.S. authorities flights.” Panic hit a fever pitch after weeks of quickly intensifying Taliban offensives painted a violent image of the nation’s future forward of the complete U.S. troop withdrawal set to be accomplished on the finish of August.

With out additional intervention, the impoverished nation of 39 million may fall “right into a scenario of disaster so severe that it will have few, if any, parallels on this century,” Deborah Lyons, particular consultant of the United Nations’ secretary-general for Afghanistan, informed a particular session of U.N. Safety Council final week.

Afghans examine broken outlets after preventing between Taliban and Afghan safety forces in Kunduz metropolis, northern Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021.

Abdullah Sahil | AP

Lyons stated the Afghan battle had entered a “deadlier and extra damaging part” and questioned the Taliban’s dedication to a political settlement with the Afghan authorities.

A brand new United Nations report discovered an uptick in civilian casualties in Afghanistan starting within the first few months of 2021. In accordance with the report, greater than 2,300 civilian casualties had been recorded in Could and June, a determine that just about tops the mixed complete from the earlier 4 months.

In April, President Joe Biden ordered the complete withdrawal of roughly 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, successfully ending America’s longest battle. Final month, Biden gave an up to date timeline and stated the U.S. army mission in Afghanistan will finish by Aug. 31.

“We didn’t go to Afghanistan to nation construct,” Biden has stated. “It is as much as the Afghans to make choices about the way forward for their nation.

Since Biden’s choice to go away the war-weary nation, the Pentagon has airlifted greater than 980 a great deal of tools out of Afghanistan and handed over seven amenities to the Afghan Ministry of Protection, in response to the most recent replace from Central Command.

The Pentagon has stated it can preserve airstrikes in assist of Afghan forces till all overseas forces exit the nation. There are roughly 600 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

“The USA has elevated airstrikes within the assist of Afghan forces over the past a number of days, and we’re ready to proceed this heightened stage of assist within the coming weeks if the Taliban proceed their assaults,” wrote U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie in a July 26 assertion.

McKenzie, the combatant commander who oversees America’s wars within the Center East, informed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani final month that the U.S. would proceed to supply airstrikes however made no promise about what is going to occur after Aug. 31.

— CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report from Washington.

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