KABUL — Two of Afghanistan’s biggest cities were below dire threat from Taliban fighters Thursday, a appealing intensification of the team’s continual military gains amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Clashes pushed into the guts of each and every Kandahar and Herat as fighters took management of some of the major executive structures within the 2 cities, in accordance with native officials. The Linked Press, citing Afghan officials and witnesses, reported each and every had been captured. A U.S. defense official, speaking on the placement of anonymity in consequence of of the evolving anguish’s sensitivity, acknowledged that became once no longer yet positive, though it became once conceivable they would maybe fall soon. The Taliban furthermore overran the capitals of Ghazni and Badghis provinces Thursday.
U.S. officials acknowledged Thursday that the Biden administration will send hundreds of troops to Afghanistan to abet airlift American personnel and native allies out of Kabul, because the immediate-fire advances by the Taliban intensified the existential threat going by means of the Afghan impart.
Ghazni’s governor fled the city as it fell and became once arrested by Afghan executive forces on the avenue to Kabul on suspicion of brokering a take care of the Taliban to abandon the province, in accordance with a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry.
As the Taliban expands its management actual by means of the country, fears are rising amongst Afghans that give up deals made with the Taliban will handiest gas the militants’ advances. Many districts and a handful of provincial capitals fell to the fighters with small to no resistance in theweeks before the forces started taking city areas.
On Wednesday, within the country’s north, loads of of Afghan forces surrendered after a deal became once brokered between Taliban leaders and commanders at a unpleasant on the threshold of Kunduz city. The troops handed over dozens of Humvees and weapons in a cross that allowed the Taliban to consolidate its management of the north.
In Herat on Thursday, Taliban fighters took management of the police headquarters and other native administrative structures, nonetheless Afghan executive forces remained in management of the airport, acknowledged provincial council member Ghulam Habib Hashimi, speaking by phone from Herat.
“Afghan forces with their Humvees were running faraway from Taliban fighters maintaining handiest a Kalashnikov,” Hashimi acknowledged. “The manager became once so indifferent.”
In Kandahar, whereas the Taliban pushed into the city middle, Afghan forces remained in management of the police headquarters, the governor’s compound, an intelligence compound and Kandahar airport, acknowledged Rohullah Khanzada, a member of parliament.
The capitals of Ghazni and Badghis were the 10th and 11th to fall to the Taliban in no longer up to a week. Ghazni city — about 80 miles southwest of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul — had been below siege by the militants for over three months.
Movies circulating on social media looked to display Ghazni’s governor being escorted out of the province by Taliban fighters. The movies confirmed Mohammad Dawood Laghmani riding in a convoy of armored autos by means of Taliban checkpoints in territory below the militants’ management.
An Interior Ministry spokesman, Mirwais Stanikzai, acknowledged Ghazni’s governor became once arrested by the Afghan executive for leaving at the motivate of his provincial capital with out a fight and for allowing the militants to power him out of the province.
A senior Interior Ministry official acknowledged the Taliban runs a recruitment team that reaches out to Afghan officials, pushing them to be half of the militants.
“One of the major causes we misplaced so worthy ground is the cooperation of officials with the Taliban,” he acknowledged, speaking on the placement of anonymity in consequence of he became once no longer licensed to declare such knowledge to the news media.
“We suspect a lengthy checklist of governors who could maybe maybe presumably need Taliban ties.”
The Taliban’s military blitz actual by means of the country does no longer seem like slowing. On Tuesday, the militants overran the capitals of Badakhshan within the north, Farah within the west and Baghlan, a 5-hour power north of Kabul.
Afghan executive management has diminished in size to no longer up to a third of the country’s territory. And whereas the United States is persevering with to enhance Afghan forces with airstrikes, the withdrawal of foreign troops is space to end within weeks.