Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Taliban could take Afghan capital within 90 days after rapid gains -U.S. intelligence

World Aug 11, 2021 06:12PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani arrives in Mazar-i-Sharif to check the security situation of the northern provinces, Afghanistan August 11, 2021. Afghan presidential palace/Handout via REUTERS 2/2

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) -Taliban fighters could isolate Afghanistan's capital in 30 days and possibly take it over within 90, a U.S. defence official cited U.S. intelligence as saying, as the resurgent militants made more advances across the country.

The official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, said the new assessment of how long Kabul could stand was a result of the Taliban's rapid gains as U.S.-led foreign forces leave.

"But this is not a foregone conclusion," the official added, saying that the Afghan security forces could reverse the momentum by putting up more resistance.

The Islamists now control 65% of Afghanistan and have taken or threaten to take 11 provincial capitals, a senior EU official said on Tuesday. Faizabad, in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, on Wednesday became the eighth provincial capital to be seized by the Taliban.

Fighting was extremely intense in Kandahar city, a doctor based in southern Kandahar provice said. The city received scores of bodies of Afghan forces and some injured Taliban.

All gateways to Kabul, which lies in a valley surrounded by mountains, were choked with civilians fleeing violence, a Western security source said. It was hard to tell whether Taliban fighters were also getting through, the source said.

"The fear is of suicide bombers entering the diplomatic quarters to scare, attack and ensure everyone leaves at the earliest opportunity," he said.

The speed of the Taliban advance https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-cities-taken-over-or-contested-by-taliban-2021-08-10 has shocked the government and its allies. The group, which controlled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when it was ousted for harbouring al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden after Sept. 11, wants to defeat the U.S-backed government and reimpose strict Islamic law.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the attacks were against the spirit of a 2020 agreement.

The Taliban committed to talks on a peace accord that would lead to a "permanent and comprehensive ceasefire," Price said on Wednesday. "All indications at least suggest the Taliban are instead pursuing a battlefield victory."

"Attacking provincial capitals and targeting civilians is inconsistent with the spirit of the agreement," he said.

The United Nations said more than 1,000 civilians had been killed in the past month, and the International Committee of the Red Cross said that since Aug. 1 some 4,042 wounded people had been treated at 15 health facilities.

The Taliban denied targeting or killing civilians and called for an independent investigation.

The group "has not targeted any civilians or their homes in any locality, rather the operations have been undertaken with great precision and caution," spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said in a statement on Wednesday.

PEACE TALKS

The loss of Faizabad was the latest setback https://graphics.reuters.com/AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT/FLASHPOINTS/lbpgnrazjvq/index.html for the government of President Ashraf Ghani, who flew to Mazar-i-Sharif to rally old warlords to the defence of the biggest city in the north as Taliban forces closed in.

Ghani spent years sidelining the warlords as he tried to project the authority of his central government over wayward provinces.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he did not regret his decision to withdraw and urged Afghan leaders to fight for their homeland.

Washington had spent more than $1 trillion over 20 years and lost thousands of U.S. troops, and continued to provide significant air support, food, equipment and salaries to Afghan forces, he said.

The Afghans "need to determine ... if they have the political will to fight back and if they have the ability to unite as leaders to fight back," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

She declined to comment on the intelligence assessments that Kabul could be overtaken by the Taliban within 90 days, which were first reported by the Washington Post, but said the plan to withdraw troops by Aug. 31 held.

A source familiar with the assessments said they paint a range of possible outcomes including a rapid Taliban takeover, an extended fight and a possible negotiated agreement between the Taliban and current government.

NEW GENERATION

The Taliban advances have raised fears of a return to power of the hardline militants who formed in 1994 from the chaos of civil war.

A new generation of Afghans, who have come of age since 2001, fears the progress made in areas such as women's rights and media freedom will be squandered.

The State Department's Price said the United States was working to forge an international consensus behind the need for a peace accord. The Taliban have captured districts bordering Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan and China, heightening regional security concerns.

He spoke as envoys from the United States, China, Russia and other countries met in Doha with Taliban and Afghan government negotiators in a bid to break a months-long deadlock in peace talks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Taliban leaders told him earlier this year that they will not negotiate with the Afghan government as long as Ghani remains president.

Taliban could take Afghan capital within 90 days after rapid gains -U.S. intelligence
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email