The movement escalated after the US closed its operations at Bagram Air Field last week Bagram was the centerpiece of the American military presence in the country for nearly 20 years.
Taliban Fighters Retaking Afghanistan
The US turnover of Bagram to the Afghan army served as a call for Taliban fighters to intensify operations. The group regained control of several districts in the north, east and south areas of the country.
US officials estimated that Taliban fighters already have more than 100 districts under control. Of these, 15 districts fell into Taliban hands the last two days.
Afghanistan oversees more than 400 local government districts. The government still controls over 300 districts. The number, however, is changing frequently, as more and more local Afghan forces began fleeing their positions amid Taliban advances. In some areas, heavy fighting rages on.
Turning Over Afghanistan
Meanwhile, General Scott Miller, the top US military official in Afghanistan, will head to Brussels and Doha, Qatar, to meet with other officials. He will return to Afghanistan soon to turn over his command to Rear Admiral Peter Vasely, who will assume the post of US senior officer. Vasely is already in the country awaiting the turnover.
In a Sunday interview, Miller expressed concerns over leaving Afghanistan. “I don’t like leaving friends in need and I know my friends are in need. If you look at the security situation. It’s not good. The Afghans recognize it’s not good,” he said. Last week, Miller warned of the potential for a civil war in the country as soon as US forces complete their withdrawal.
Maintain A Small Force In Afghanistan
In fact, some top US military officials already recommended that the White House retain a small military force in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Biden ordered the withdrawal of all American forces from the country except for 650 troops stationed at the Kabul airport and the US Embassy. All other personnel will leave Afghanistan by the end of August, according to Pentagon officials.
Meanwhile, Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), a senior Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that the “devastation” in Afghanistan is alarming.
This includes the targeting of women by Taliban fighters and the overall humanitarian crisis. “President Biden is going to own these ugly images,” he said. McCaul predicts that al Qaeda and the Islamic State extremist group will find havens in areas of Afghanistan under Taliban control.
US Embassy Not In Danger Of Closing
American diplomatic officials stationed in Kabul rebutted media reports last Saturday that the US Embassy is about to close. Military and State Department officials already made plans for an emergency evacuation of the embassy if the situation warrants it.
This will involve thousands of American military and civilian personnel. We have no plans to close the embassy,” according to an embassy Twitter post.
Watch the Aljazeera video reporting that more than 100 Afghan districts are now in Taliban control:
What do you think of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which potentially puts the country back in Taliban control? Did the US do anything significant during the last 20 years, or did it just delay the inevitable?
Let us know what you think about the US, Taliban fighters, and Afghanistan. Share your comments below.