The US has completed more than 50% of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to the US Central Command. The withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan started on May 1.
Future updates on the withdrawal process will be less specific because of the “operational security reasons & to preserve force protection,” according to the CENTCOM statement.
According to the CENTCOM reports, 500 S-17 military transport aircraft had already been removed from Afghanistan, while about 13 thousand units of American equipment were transferred for recycling.
On May 7, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that the alliance is ending its military mission in Afghanistan, but it is not ending its support for Afghans.
“At the same time, of course, we’re also looking into the future. And addressing how can we preserve our hard-won gains in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said, mentioning that “we are withdrawing our troops in a coordinated way”
The NATO will continue funding Afghan forces, providing them with out-of-country training. According to the chief of the Allience, NATO is also looking for solutions in order to maintain some critical infrastructure.
For example, Turkey has recently offered protection and management of the Kabul airport after the withdrawal of the United States and other NATO forces from Afghanistan. However, according to Reuters’ sources in the White House administration, Ankara has requested a big number of American “military assistants” for this mission. A decision on this issue has not yet been taken and will be discussed.
Stoltenberg also assured that NATO will have a civilian presence in Afghanistan, helping Afghan forces, as well as at the ministerial level or for the different security institutions.
Until NATO decides on how to preserve its hard-won gains in Afghanistan, Taliban gains momentum to capture new territories in different country regions.
Among the most recent gains, there are:
- On June 8, Afghan army positions in Abband district were captured by the Taliban. According to local sources, seven Taliban militants were killed and 11 others were wounded in the clashes. Army forces retreated into the city of Abband and surrounding villages.
- On June 8, Dawlat Abad district in Faryab province in northern Afghanistan was reportedly captured by the Taliban.
- On June 6, Taliban reportedly captured the center of Shahrak district in Ghor province
- On June 5, Taliban forces reportedly captured most of Deh Yak district in Ghazni province. According to an ISWNews field source, security forces have retreated as a result of Taliban constant attacks on police headquarters and several other areas.
- On June 6, more than 15 security personnel were killed and wounded in a Taliban car bomb attack on a police headquarters in Balkh.
One of the videos form Afghanistan reportedly shows weapons and Afghan soldiers captured in a militant attack on the village of Zikvik in the Arghandaba region of Zabul province.
Meanwhile, Taliban has recently released a new training video showing their weapons, including SGM/Type 57, Type 54 HMG, Type 78 recoilless rifle, Type 52 recoilless rifle, KPV, mortars, bush with an SVD Dragunov etc.
Following US and NATO forces leaving Afghanistan, Taliban has significantly increased its attacks. Since foreign forces are not targeted, there is no reaction to Taliban attacks no matter of casualties number in Afghan security forces or among the civilians. Therefore, Taliban militants attacked more towns in which foreign forces are not deployed.
These are easy targets for Taliban, as security forces do not often fight back and usually retreat or surrender without fierce clashes.
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