On July 31, it was reported that the Taliban had laid siege over three major cities in Western and Southern Afghanistan. The terrorists are raging around the three main cities, and according to BBC, they have entered some parts of Lashkar Gah, Herat and Kandahar. Taliban has increased its attack on the rural areas since President Biden announced that the American troops would leave Afghanistan completely by September.
Unclear fate causing unrest among citizens
The citizens of the three cities are under distress as their fate is unclear, and the country is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. No one is sure for how long the Afghan government forces would be able to hold out against the Taliban. Reportedly, the radical organization has already taken control of around half of Afghanistan, including border sites across Iran and Pakistan.
As per reports, the insurgents had entered Lashkar Gah and reached a point that was only a few hundred metres from the governor’s office. The Afghan forces, however, pushed them back. This was the second such attempt in recent times. Commander of Afghan forces told BBC that they had inflicted significant casualties on the terrorists on July 29.
Citizens fear militants would soon enter Herat
As per a report published in Al Jazeera, the battle between the Afghan forces and Taliban continued for a third day on July 30 near Herat that houses hundreds of thousands of people. The residents fear that the Taliban could enter Herat, the third-largest city of Afghanistan, any day. The two sides were reportedly battling against each other merely 10.5 KM from the city on the road leading to Khwaja Abdullah Ansari International Airport on July 30. Taliban was finally pushed away on July 31, but the citizens remain fearful. Vehicles full of women and children were seen heading the provincial capital from Pol-e Pashto and Pol-e Malan regions.
Anti-Taliban sentiment on the rise
The Defence Ministry of Afghanistan claimed that security forces had killed dozens of terrorists in the last two days. However, Musa, a member of a local fighting group supporting the government, said that Taliban terrorists are like ants. “As soon as you kill them, more appear,” he said.
Notably, anti-Taliban sentiment is on the rise among the Afghan people. Many believe that what the Taliban is doing to the country by attempting to take control of the largest cities negates its claims that they are in favour of a political settlement for the conflict that has been on for the last 20 years.
Locals are unable to move from one city to another. Al Jazeera quoted a local businessman Shoaib Khan who had left Herat for Kabul for Eid celebrations in July. Since then, he has been unable to go back to Herat to check on his business. He said, “When we wanted to go and check on our business, we couldn’t because the airport was closed.” The journey from Kabul to Herat is 14-hours long, and there was fear to get stopped by the Taliban on the way to the Herat.
Taliban entering houses making the situation difficult
According to the Afghan forces’ members, Taliban terrorists have entered houses of civilians in some locations, which has made the situation more difficult. “The Taliban entering the house of people makes it much more difficult for us, we have to be so much more careful,” he said.
‘Lashkar Gah is the most vulnerable city’
According to Secunder Kermani, a reporter at BBC, Lashkar Gah is the most vulnerable city. Pro-Taliban social media accounts are full of videos of terrorists in the centre of the city. In Lashkar Gah as well, the Taliban has taken refuge in the houses of civilians, making it difficult for the Afghan forces to push them out of the city.
Gul Ahmad Kamin, MP, Kandahar, was quoted by BBC saying that tens of thousands of people have already left Lashkar Gah fearing humanitarian disaster. He added that the situation was getting worse every hour, and the battle among Afghan forces and the Taliban had never been so intense in the last 20 years. He further said the Taliban now see Kandahar as a major focal point as they want to make it their temporary capital. If they succeed to take control of Kandahar, 5-6 more provinces in the region will go under their command.
Taliban is trying to gain control over Afghanistan
In the last few weeks, the terrorist organization Taliban is using heavy forces to gain control of the major portion of Afghanistan. The intense fight between Afghan Forces and the Taliban has created unrest in the Indian subcontinent. While the US has announced they would leave the nation by September, the future of the war-hit country hangs in mid-air as terrorists are gaining control over the city after city. The brutal killing of comedian Nazar Mohammad and Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui in the hands of the Taliban also made it to headlines recently.