Afghan officials reported on Monday that the Taliban had surrounded the city of Ghazni, located in central Afghanistan. According to the officials’ remarks, the Taliban seized civilians’ houses to fight against Afghan security forces.
Hassan Rezayi, a member of Ghazni’s provincial council, said, “The situation in Ghazni city is very critical… the Taliban use civilian houses to cover themselves and open fire upon Afghan security forces, this makes the situation very difficult for operating against the Taliban.”
Being one of the central cities of Afghanistan, Ghazni is located on the main road between Kabul, and Kandahar city, which has a traditionally strong Taliban presence. Additionally, Kandahar is also experiencing clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.
Combatting against the Taliban in Kandahar, Hamidzai Lalay, a former Member of Parliament, stated that the clashes between the two sides have intensified last four days in the region. He said, “Afghan security forces, including special forces, are fighting the Taliban and trying to push them back.”
Speaking upon the situation in Kandahar, Defense Ministry spokesperson Fawad Aman stated that the city is completely under the control of Afghan security forces through air and ground operations which had been carried out in recent days.
During the last two weeks, the Taliban has seized key crossing borders, including Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Yet, the group has not managed to seize any provincial capitals so far. Only last week, the Taliban entered the western province of Badghis’ capital, but the security forces pushed them back.
Taliban attacks have accelerated in Afghanistan following the announcement of US President Joe Biden in April, indicating that the US military presence in the country would conclude by September 11. Later, the date has been updated as August 31.
Meanwhile, the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, General Austin Miller has left his office on Monday, marking the end of the US’ longest war.