On November 23, the Taliban announced that its fighters had captured 4 checkpoints of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP) in the districts of Almar and Gurziwan in the northern province of Faryab following successful attacks.
12 personnel of the ANA and the NAP, including an officer named “Habibullah,” were reportedly killed during the attacks. Taliban fighters also captured an armored vehicle along with loads of weapons and ammunition.
Few hours after the attack, the Taliban news agency Voice of Jihad reported that the ANA and the ANP had withdrawn from 6 other checkpoints in Almar. The news agency also revealed that a commander of Afghan government forces in Gurziwan, named “Haji Muhammad Salih,” defected on Novmber 22 and joined the Taliban along with 19 of his fighters.
According to the Taliban, the attacks in Almar and Gurziwan were a part of its spring offensive, codenamed “Operation al-Khandagh.” The offensive was launched on April 25 in response to Washington’s decision to increase the US military presence in Afghanistan.