Kandahar City falls to the Taliban

Kandahar City falls to the Taliban

Kandahar City falls to the Taliban

Kandahar City falls to the Taliban: The Taliban continue to wrap up a series of major victories today. Kandahar City, the second-largest city in the country, collapsed after Taliban forces besieged it for more than two months. It is the third largest city and the fourth capital of the province to cross the Taliban today.

Afghan troops have left the city after months of fighting. The Associated Press confirmed that the city now has Taliban population.

With the loss of the capital, and the fact that every region except one is controlled by the Taliban, the Long War Journal of the FDD is examining the fact that Kandahar Province is now controlled by the Taliban.

The kidnapping of Kandahar province is a major propaganda and strategic victory in the Taliban. Kandahar is the home of the Taliban. In the 1990s, Mullah Omar, the founder and first emir of the Taliban, began taking over the country from the province. Omar ruled his Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 from Kandahar. Now that Kandahar is under Taliban rule, additional troops could be deployed in Lashkar Gah, Tarin Kot, and Qalat, all three cities could fall at any time, and elsewhere.

Kandahar also served as the base of Al Qaeda. From 1998 to 2001, before the Afghan invasion of the U.S., Osama bin Laden and his team of supporters used a training camp and command center at Tarnak Farms near Kandahar Air Field. U.S. troops destroy two major Al Qaeda camps in the Shorabak region in October 2015. General John Campbell, then US commander in Afghanistan, said one of the largest camps in Shorabak since Afghanistan invaded in 2001 .

The Afghan government and security forces are being beaten on the battlefield. The Taliban have four provincial capitals, including Herat City, the fourth largest city in the country, Ghazni City, on the road to Kabul, and Start-I-Naw in Badghis province. The provinces of Herat, Ghazni, and Badghis are now completely controlled by the Taliban. In total, the Taliban now controls 11 provinces and 13 provincial capitals.

The Taliban have 7 of the 9 northern states, four to the west, and Ghazni and Kandahar to the south. The Taliban continues its struggle to seize Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. Fighting in the south and east has intensified. Once the south is fully protected, the Taliban will intensify their efforts to seize Kabul and achieve its one goal: to revive the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The battle of Kandahar City

Kandahar City falls to the Taliban: Like Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, Kandahar has been a main focal point of Taliban’s southern offensive since President Joe Biden’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal on April 14, 2021. In June, the Taliban began its offensives against districts in Kandahar province, slowly advancing towards the provincial capital. Kabul responded by sending its elite Commandos to prop up sagging local forces and launching airstrikes.

By July, fighters had entered the city, raiding houses and fighting Afghan soldiers in Kandahar’s Seventh Police District. The Taliban continued to press the city, forcing Afghan commandos to move prisoners from the Kandahar prison. By July 16, heavy fighting had emerged in three of the capital’s neighborhoods, as the Taliban controlled the neighboring district, Dand, which houses Kandahar’s airport. The airport remained under government control however, as the Afghan Air Force bombarded Taliban fighters with airstrikes throughout July and August, with little effect. 

As a result of the Taliban progress in the city by July 16, the Afghan military imposed a curfew on the city while continuing to flood it with more Commandos. Slowly, the Taliban took more police districts in a steady march towards the center of the city. In response, the United States and Afghan air forces continued to launch airstrikes against Taliban military vehicles and equipment, to no avail.

At the beginning of August, the Taliban massed more fighters to continue their attack on Kandahar, effectively forcing the government to commit its most valuable resources and personnel to protect the strategic city. The Commandos repelled repeated Taliban offensives against the center of the city with the help of airstrikes. However, the Taliban began to turn their attention to the Kandahar airport on August 2. Taliban rocket attacks delayed flights, and inhibited Afghan Air Force strikes. 

Kandahar City falls to the Taliban Kandahar City falls to the Taliban Kandahar City falls to the Taliban Kandahar City falls to the Taliban Kandahar City falls to the Taliban Kandahar City falls to the Taliban

Due to the severe toll of the fighting on the city itself, the government advised all civilians to evacuate the city on August 5, following a weekend that saw nearly 100 civilian casualties. On August 11, the ANDSF defensive position around Kandahar’s prison collapsed, enabling the Taliban to liberate hundreds of prisoners. The prison was a vital defensive position in the city and signaled that the fall of the city would soon follow. At the same time, local leaders pressed Kandahar’s governor and military leaders to accept an ultimatum presented by the Taliban to abandon the city to escape further destruction. On August 12, videos emerged of ANDSF troops fleeing the city en masse, as Taliban leaders claimed control of the provincial capital.

BY :  BILL ROGGIO & ANDREW TOBIN

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