Taliban say they control 85% of Afghan territory

At a press conference in Moscow, Mawlawi Shahabuddin Dilawar, a Taliban representative, added that around 250 of the country’s 398 districts were now under insurgent control. These claims could not be confirmed from an independent source.

The Afghan forces, now deprived of crucial American air support, have lost a lot of ground, but assured Friday that they had regained control of the first provincial capital conquered this week by the insurgents, Qala-i-Naw, after heavy fighting.

Hours before the insurgent advance was announced, US President Joe Biden said in a speech that Washington’s military mission in Afghanistan would be completed on August 31, almost 20 years after its inception.

We’re ending America’s longest war triggered after the attacks of September 11, 2001, he stressed. I will not send another generation of Americans to fight in Afghanistan, he repeated.

The US president also claimed that he was not inevitable to see the country fall into the hands of the Taliban, believing that the Afghan authorities have the capacity to ensure the continuity of government.

However, the Taliban now hold an arc of territory stretching from the Iranian border in the west to that with China in the northeast.

They announced Friday that they had captured Islam Qala, the border post with Iran, the most important in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokespersons Mohammad Naim, Mawlawi Shahabuddin Dilawar and Suhil Shaheen said their troops are holding 250 of Afghanistan’s 398 districts.

Photo : Associated Press / Alexander Zemlianichenko

Moscow, which called on the warring parties to detention, said the insurgents also control most of the Afghan border with Tajikistan.

According to a government official, Afghan forces are now trying to retake Islam Qala, which is located in Herat province.

All Afghan security forces, including border guards, are present in the area, and are now trying to retake the site., Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian told AFP.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told AFP that the Islam Qala border post was completely under the control of the insurgents, who will reactivate today.

It is one of the most important border crossings in Afghanistan – through which most of the legal trade between the two countries passes – and the second major border crossing taken by the Taliban since the beginning of their lightning offensive. in May, when the Americans launched the last phase of their withdrawal.

Last month, insurgents captured Shir Khan Bandar, the main border crossing between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

A thousand Afghan soldiers had to seek refuge in Tajikistan after intense fighting.

The Taliban currently control around two-thirds of the border with TajikistanRussian diplomacy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press conference on Friday.

We call on opposing parties in the inter-Afghan conflict to exercise restraint and prevent tensions from spreading beyond the country’s borders., she added, when a Taliban delegation is in Moscow.

Afghan forces have lost a lot of ground, especially in rural areas, and the Taliban are surrounding major cities like Herat.

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban, however told AFP that the insurgents wanted a negotiated agreement and did not believe not in a monopoly on power.

The Taliban also welcomed Mr. Biden’s announcement.

The sooner the better for the departure of American and foreign troops.

A quote from:Suhail Saheen, porte-parole taliban

The Taliban had also launched an offensive targeting for the first time a provincial capital, Qala-i-Naw, where fighting pitted them against government forces for two days.

Defense Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman announced on Twitter on Friday that Afghan forces had regained control of the city.

The country crosses one of the most complicated stages of the transition, had recognized Thursday the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The country can be controlled, he had however assured, confident in the capacity of his government to manage the crisis.

If Taliban spokesman Suhail Saheen told AFP he believed in a peaceful solution, the insurgents seem unwilling to discuss with the government, and the official Doha negotiations have stalled.

The Taliban have never been so powerful since being overthrown by the US-led international coalition in late 2001.

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