Taliban take more Afghan districts
June 22, 2021 - Taliban fighters have taken control of two districts in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province, adding to recent battlefield victories since U.S. and NATO troops began their withdrawal in May.
Analysts say that U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out the remaining 3,500 American troops in Afghanistan without setting any conditions has removed any incentive for the Taliban to pursue genuine peace. Almost 10,000 other forces from 36 countries -- supporting Afghan security forces in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission -- have also begun their final departure from Afghanistan.
Since May 1, the Taliban has seized control of at least six districts across Afghanistan: in Jalrez and Nerkh in the central province of Maidan Wardak, Dawlat Shah in the eastern region of Laghman, and Burka in northern Baghlan. Most recently, Dasht-e-Archi in Kunduz province on May 21, and on Monday (June 21) the neighbouring district of Imam Sahib.
Taliban militants control some 72 of Afghanistan’s 398 districts, 18 per cent of the country, while 95 are in government hands, 24 per cent.
On Friday, President Biden will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s High Council for National Reconciliation, in Washington.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday they will “continue to discuss how we can work together to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the U.S. homeland.”