The airport in Kandahar has come under rocket attack, and as a result all flights were cancelled. The attack took place amid the ongoing clashes near the main provincial capitals in southern and western regions of Afghanistan.
On August 1st, at least three rockets were launched towards Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport in Kandahar. Two of the projectiles hit the runway.
All flights have been canceled, but are expected to resume later in the day, as the runway is being repaired, the official said.
“Kandahar airport was targeted by us because the enemy were using it as a centre to conduct air strikes against us,” a Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid claimed.
At the same time, the Afghan Defense Ministry published video, showing air strikes on Taliban militants conducted in Kandahar on July 31st.
— Ali Özkök (@Ozkok_A) August 1, 2021
Kandahar is Afghanistan’s second-largest city located in the south of the country. It is of strategic importance as it may be used as a control center for all neighbor provinces in southern and central Afghanistan.
Gul Ahmad Kamin, an MP in Kandahar, told that there was a serious risk of Taliban taking control over the city, adding that the militants wanted to turn Kandahar into their temporary capital. It is of a symbolic importance since the Taliban movement was first created in Kandahar province.
Meanwhile, Taliban’s advance continues in other provincial capitals all over the country.
The heavy clashes are still going on around the city of Herat in western Afghanistan, where the Taliban militants are narrowing the ring around the city, coming closer to the center.
On July 31st, Kabul sent hundreds of more troops to Herat, as the Taliban is reportedly 5km to the city now.
Clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban are going on for the fourth day in a row, and are mainly taking place in the southern part of the city, where the Taliban has recently seized the Malan Bridge. On July 30, the airport in Herat was also targeted with rockets.
The Afghan people continue to bear the brunt of this brutal war. This is fighting in PD7, Herat city. pic.twitter.com/9ek0Jy6Snb
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) August 1, 2021
Another strategic city that is falling under the control of the Taliban is Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. Amid the clashes on the streets, people are fleeing the city. Taking into account the footage from Helmand, Lashkar Gah is turning into a new stronghold of Taliban militants.
Taliban patrol in Lashkargha the capital of Helmand . pic.twitter.com/4r5UAtHUGi
— Tariq Ghazniwal (@TGhazniwal) August 1, 2021
@DefenceHQ how much more former military staff needs to suffer In Helmand province? The Taliban fighters completely taken Lashkar Gah, please help and save former military interpreter and other workers pic.twitter.com/wrdBABOfPf
— Jamal (@Jamal01164812) August 1, 2021
After having taken control over the major territories all over Afghanistan and having encircled the strategic cities, without facing any important resistance from the government forces, the Taliban is now targeting the provincial capitals. Taking into account that the main roads to the cities are already under Taliban’s control and the airports there can be easily targeted, Herat and Kandahar may fall into militants’ hands in coming days. If so, Kabul will likely be doomed.
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