On January 18, several members of Farah provincial council warned that the Taliban is about to capture the capital of the province – the city of Farah, according to a report of the Afghan Tolo news.
The provincial council members said that over 100 Afghan policemen and soldiers were killed in clashes with the Taliban in Farah province last week. Moreover, local sources reported that the Taliban captured several checkpoints from the Afghan Army and Police around the city of Farah in the last few days.
“Currently the security situation in Farah is much worse than any other region in the country. Fighting rages only two kilometers from Farah city, every night five to ten security force members are killed and Taliban seize their equipment. But the government so far has not done anything to tackle the issue,” said Khair Mohammad Noorzai, a member of Farah provincial council, according to Tolo.
The poor performance of the Afghan Army and security forces in Farah province was also criticized by some Afghan MPs who also called for a quick reaction to save Farah city.
“We expect government to take action soon to tackle the current situation in Farah, otherwise the Taliban will take over Farah province, but keeping in mind that the Taliban has already taken over some areas of Farah,” said MP Humaira Ayoubi.
Several officials including Farah province police headquarters security officer Gulbahar Mujahid confirmed the security threats in the province on January 19 and even claimed that Pakistani intelligence services are aiding the Taliban attack on the province.
“The Taliban is using all its powers to collapse parts of the city or the province – to make achievements for the foreign intelligence agencies,” said Mujahid.
In response to these warnings, Mohammad Radmanish, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, announced that the Afghan Army is preparing to launch a wide-scale military operation against the Taliban in Farah soon.
“I want to say with confidence that the Taliban will take the dream of taking over Farah to their grave. The Taliban do not have the capacity to takeover Farah city,” Radmanish said on January 18.
The Taliban was able to reach Farah city following a series of hit and run attacks against Afghan Army and Police checkpoints around the city in the last few months. This tactic exhausted the Afghan soldiers and led to the rapid collapse of these checkpoints later, especially with the lack of support from the NATO.