On the night of Thursday, August 12 to Friday, August 13, the Taliban captured Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan, before continuing their advance by seizing the city of Lashkar Gah. The United States and the United Kingdom are going to evacuate their nationals and diplomats in disaster.
The Taliban, who chain the key conquests, claimed Friday, August 13 the capture of the second city of Afghanistan, Kandahar, after having approached Kabul, where the United States decided to return thousands of troops, officially for evacuating their diplomats.
“Kandahar is totally taken. The Mujahedin have reached Martyrs Square in the city, ” tweeted a spokesperson on an official Taliban account.
A few hours later, the insurgents seized Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. An increasingly rapid progression, after having brought down Thursday, August 12, the third city of the country, Herat, in the west, and Ghazni, just 150 km southwest of Kabul. At this point, only the capital and a few other territories are still under the control of the Afghan government.
Half of the provincial capitals fallen in eight days
“Lashkar Gah has been evacuated. They decided on a 48-hour ceasefire to evacuate “ the army and civilian officials, a senior security official said.
The Taliban also took without resistance Friday Chaghcharan, the capital of Ghor province, and now control nearly half of the Afghan provincial capitals, all of which fell in just eight days. Most of the north, west and south of the country is now under their control. Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, the major city in the north, and Jalalabad are the only three major cities still under government control.
The Taliban launched their offensive in May when US President Joe Biden confirmed the departure of the last foreign troops from the country, twenty years after their intervention to oust the Taliban from power, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
This withdrawal must be completed by August 31. President Biden has since said he does not regret his decision, although the speed with which the Afghan army disintegrated in the face of the advancing Taliban surprised and disappointed the Americans, who spent more than $ 1 trillion on twenty years to train and equip it.
Reduction of the American diplomatic presence
Due to the “acceleration” of events, Washington has decided to “further reduce” its “diplomatic presence” in Kabul “in the coming weeks,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.