DrAccording to US President Joe Biden, the fight against the hardline Islamist Taliban movement is now a matter for Afghans. In light of the Islamists’ recent advances after the massive withdrawal of international forces, Biden said at the White House on Tuesday that Afghans now had to “fight for their country.” Their armed forces are militarily superior to the Taliban, also in terms of troop strength. But they also have to fight back, Biden said.
The US president also appealed to the political leadership in Kabul to work together. Literally, he said, “I think they’re starting to understand that they have to get together politically at the top.” Biden promised that the United States would continue to support the Afghan security forces financially and militarily. He is informed of the situation every day. With the intention of withdrawing American soldiers by order of him, the president added: “But I do not regret my decision.”
Already eight provincial capitals are in the hands of the Taliban
At the time of the decision, the United States still had about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. According to the military, the withdrawal is now over 95% complete. It should be completely gone by the end of the month. The Bundeswehr and soldiers from other NATO countries have already left Afghanistan.
Since the withdrawal of international forces in early May, the Taliban have occupied many territories. On Tuesday, they took control of the eighth capital of the province in quick succession. According to initially unconfirmed reports, the city of Faysabad was said to have fallen to the Islamists in the evening. Previously, the city of Paul Shumri of 250,000 people in the northern province of Baghlan had already paid a lot to the Islamists, three regional councils of the German news agency (dpa) confirmed in the evening. The road between the capital, Kabul, and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif is now cut off.
According to regional advisor Vierosuddin Imak, government forces left the city on Tuesday evening (local time) without further resistance. Several other leaders and officials had already left Paul Schumery ten or 15 days before and had announced that they would attack the Islamists from another route. The remaining forces had held out for a few more days, but had now withdrawn to a military base abroad.
Pul-i Chumri is located on an important land route between Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, where the German army had a base until recently. The city is the second largest city in the northeast of the country after Kunduz. The international forces have been withdrawing from Afghanistan since the beginning of May.
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