Officials said the Taliban gained momentum overnight in their marches in northern Afghanistan, seizing several areas from the fleeing Afghan army, and hundreds of them fled across the border to Tajikistan.
The National Security Council of Tajikistan said in a statement on Sunday that as Taliban militants advanced towards the border, more than 300 Afghan soldiers crossed the border from Afghanistan’s Badakhshan Province. The Afghan army crossed at around 6.30pm local time on Saturday.
The statement said, “Under the guidance of the principles of humanitarianism and good-neighborliness,” the Tajik authorities allowed the retreating Afghan government forces to cross the border into Tajikistan.
Since U.S. President Joe Biden announced the end of the “eternal war” in Afghanistan in mid-April, the Taliban Made great progress All over the country. But its most important takeaway is in the northern half of the country, which was the traditional stronghold of the powerful American allies who helped defeat them in 2001.
The Taliban now controls approximately one third of all 421 regions and regional centers in Afghanistan.
Provincial Assembly member Mohib-ul Rahman said that the gains made in the northeastern part of Badakhshan Province in recent days were mainly obtained by armed groups without fighting. He blamed the Taliban’s success on the low morale of the army, most of them outnumbered and lacking supplies.
Rahman said: “Unfortunately, most areas were left to the Taliban without any fighting.” He said that in the past three days, 10 areas were captured by the Taliban, and 8 of them did not fight.
Rahman said that hundreds of Afghan soldiers, police and intelligence forces surrendered their military outposts and fled to Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan Province.
He said that although a security meeting was being held earlier Sunday to plan to strengthen the defense line around Faizabad, some senior provincial officials are leaving the city for the Afghan capital of Kabul.
In late June, the Afghan government resurrected voluntary militias known for their brutal violence to support the troubled Afghan army, but Rahman said that many fighters in the Badakhshan area only fought half-heartedly.
Officials said on Sunday that after fierce night fighting with the Afghan government forces, the Taliban also occupied a key area of its former fort in Kandahar.
Only two days after the United States and NATO forces withdrew their main forces, the Panjwai area in the southern province of Kandahar fell. Bagram Air Force Base Near Kabul, where they led operations against the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies for 20 years.
Over the years, the Taliban and the Afghan army have often clashed in Panjwai and its surrounding areas. The goal of armed groups is to occupy it because it is close to the provincial capital Kandahar.
Kandahar Province is the birthplace of the Taliban. The Taliban continued to rule Afghanistan until it was overthrown by the US-led invasion in 2001.
Panjwai District Chief Hasti Mohammad said that the Afghan army and the Taliban clashed during the night, which led to the withdrawal of government forces from the area.
“The Taliban have occupied the regional police headquarters and the governor’s office building,” he told AFP.
Sayed Jan Khakriwal, chairman of the Kandahar Provincial Assembly, confirmed the fall of Panjwai, but accused the government of “intentionally retreating”.
The areas controlled by the Taliban in the north are increasingly strategic, extending along the border between Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. Last month, the organization took control of Imam Saheb, a town in Kunduz province across from Uzbekistan, and controlled a key trade route.
The progress of Badakhshan is particularly important because it is the hometown of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was killed by a suicide bomber in 2011. His son Salahuddin Rabbani is currently a member of the High Commission for National Reconciliation.
The former president who was killed also led the Islamic Promotion Association in Afghanistan, the party of the famous anti-Taliban fighter Ahmed Shah Masood, who was killed by suicide bombers two days before the 9/11 attacks in the United States. .
The Ministry of the Interior issued a statement on Saturday that the failure was temporary, but it is unclear how they will regain control.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the fall of these areas and stated that most areas were occupied without fighting. In previous surrenders, the Taliban had shown videos of Afghan soldiers receiving transportation allowances and returning home.