Taliban continue to claim more territory as fighting heats up in Qala-e-Naw

New Delhi: With the United States withdrawal inching closer, Taliban continued to make quick captures of major territories in Afghanistan, putting the Afghan security forces under extreme pressure and intensifying confrontations.

In the latest move, the Taliban claimed to have entered and captured Qala-e-Naw, the first regional capital to face an all-out offensive by it. The Afghan government has flown in its commandos to push back the Taliban and take control of the provincial capital in northwestern Badghis province.

The fight between the Taliban and the Afghan commandos has entered into the second day with President Ashraf Ghani stating that his security forces had the capacity to defeat the Taliban, even after the complete withdrawal of the US troops. The locals of Qala-i-Naw were forced to either flee the city or barricade themselves in their homes as fighting continues to intensify with each passing hour.

The Taliban have launched a major assault since the US has fast paced the withdrawal of its troops. Pentagon claims that the pullout of troops from Afghanistan is 90 per cent complete. Taliban, on the other hand, have started capturing new territories and are making fast forward movements into claiming major provincial capital like Qala-i-Naw, prompting serious concerns that Afghan forces may not be able to handle the Taliban assault without the American air support.

President Ghani admitted that the transition, of the shifting of power and control from the foreign troops to the Afghan government, has entered into the most complicated stage.

“What we are witnessing is one of the most complicated stages of the transition. Legitimacy is ours; God is with us,” he said during a speech in Kabul.

The withdrawal of the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops from Afghanistan, that also after two decades, seems to have vitalised the Taliban, who now seem to be moving towards claiming complete victory over the Afghan forces and the Ghani government.

Badghis provincial capital Qala-i-Naw has come under a serious Taliban offensive in the past 48 hours, with fighting continuing and intensifying.

“The Taliban have resumed their attacks from several directions with light and heavy weapons,” said Badghis Governor Hessamuddin Shams.

“Our security forces are bravely fighting them and the enemy is being pushed back. They are fleeing. We will give a hard blow to the enemy,” he added.

This is happening at a time when Taliban delegation and the Afghan government representatives have met in Tehran in a first surprise, but significant meeting, hosted by Iran.

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