Violent clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces are surging across Afghanistan, with President Ashraf Ghani blaming the worsening security situation on the ill-planned and “sudden” withdrawal of American troops.
Afghan security forces spokesman, Ajmal Omar Shinwari, described the current status in Afghanistan as an “emergency situation.”
President Ghani also blamed the “abrupt” US withdrawal for the deteriorating security situation.
Ghani has presented a security plan to challenge the Taliban onslaught before the country’s parliament, but its details have not been made public.
The Afghan army says three provinces in southern and western Afghanistan are facing “critical” security situations as fighting intensifies between the Taliban and Afghan forces.
Addressing the parliament, Ghani said that “the reason for our current situation is that the decision was taken abruptly,” adding that he had warned Washington the withdrawal in this manner would have “consequences.”
“We have had an unexpected situation in the last three months,” the president complained, adding that the Afghan government plans to bring the situation under control within six months.
The Taliban have released a statement in response to President Ashraf Ghani’s address to the legislature, saying his “statements were all nonsense”.
“He was trying to control his own bad [mental] state and mistakes,” it said.
“The nation has decided to prosecute the national traitors and bring them to justice. Declarations of war, making accusations and providing false information cannot prolong Ghani’s life. His time is over, God willing.”
On August 2nd, Afghan government forces are attempting to stop several provincial cities from falling to the militants.
Afghan army commandos have been stationed in the center of Lashkar Gah city, capital of Helmand province, and home to several large military bases.
Ground and air forces managed to repel a Taliban offensive in the city, the Afghan military said.
Lashkar Gar saw a US airstrike aimed at Taliban, which reportedly killed 7 militants.
Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry said the government forces started clearance operations in the western city of Herat, pledging to keep fighting until the Taliban are fully removed from Afghanistan’s third largest city.
According to local sources in Hawa Malalai district, the fighting has caused power cuts, disruption of telecommunication networks, and shortages of medicines.
Meanwhile, Russia will send an additional contingent of 800 troops to take part in military exercises at the Afghan border and use two times more hardware there than originally planned, Interfax news agency has reported, citing the defense ministry.
The drills, which are set to take place on August 5-10 and involve Uzbek and Tajik forces, come as the security situation rapidly deteriorates in Afghanistan amid a US troop withdrawal.
Russia said that 1,800 of its soldiers would take part in the drills, instead of 1,000 as initially planned. More than 2,500 troops would be involved in total, it said. Moscow will also use 420 units of military hardware for the drills, two times more than originally planned, it said.
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- Afghan Government Forces Prepare Large Operation In Herat As Taliban Fighters Breach City’s Main Defense Line (Videos, Photos)
- Taliban Ties Up Loose Ends: Afghanistan Provincial Capitals, UN Mission Attacked (Video)