Taliban captures Logar province, about 90 km to Afghanistan capital Kabul
As the Taliban continued in its offensive, it has has now claimed to have captured the Logar province as well, which is about 90 kms from Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. Just hours earlier the Taliban had captured two of the biggest Afghan cities Kandahar and Herat.
The push by the Taliban to capture Afghanistan has led to the insurgents gaining control of two-thirds of the country, while US intelligence reports have said in about 90 days, they may have complete control.
The Taliban also captured Pul-e-Alam, making it the 15th provincial capital in Afghanistan now controlled by the insurgents. The seizure of Kandahar and Herat marks the biggest prizes yet for the Taliban, who have taken nearly half of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals as part of a weeklong onslaught.
While Kabul itself isn’t directly under threat yet, the losses and the battles elsewhere further tighten the grip of a resurgent Taliban, who are estimated to now hold over two-thirds of the country and continue to press their offensive.
Earlier, the Taliban managed to capture the city of Ghazni, which sits on a crucial north-south highway just 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Kabul, thus cutting of the capital city from an arterial supplies route.
The Taliban has also claimed to have captured Qala-e Naw, capital of the western Badghis province.
The latest US military intelligence assessment suggests Kabul could come under insurgent pressure within 30 days and that, if current trends hold, the Taliban could gain full control of the country within a few months. The Afghan government may be forced to pull back to defend the capital and just a few other cities in the coming days if the Taliban maintain momentum.
With security rapidly deteriorating, the United States planned to send in 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the US Embassy in Kabul. Separately, Britain said about 600 troops would be deployed on a short-term basis to support British nationals leaving the country, and Canada is sending special forces to help evacuate its embassy.
Thousands of Afghans have fled their homes amid fears the Taliban will again impose a brutal, repressive government, all but eliminating women’s rights and conducting public executions. Peace talks in Qatar remain stalled, though diplomats are still meeting.
Fazel Haq Ehsan, chief of the provincial council in the western Ghor province, said Friday that the Taliban had entered Feroz Koh, the provincial capital, and that there was fighting inside the city. He was on the outskirts of town and was unable to immediately provide more details.