By: Suraya Raiszada
Following US administration announcement for full US and NATO troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September, Taliban violence and attacks have increased as a number of districts have fallen to hand of Taliban in various provinces of the country.
Now, Afghanistan Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said Taliban has not captured any districts but it was ANDSF who tactically retreated from some of the districts.
“Plan for recapturing of the fallen districts is underway and clearing operations will be soon conducted,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesperson to the Ministry of Defense.
He said Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have tactically retreated from some districts to prevent from civilian casualties, adding that ANDSF would soon start operations to recapture areas that have recently fallen to the hand of the Taliban group.
“Our programs are seriously being followed. Reinforcements have been dispatched to most of the provinces to launch clearing operations against Taliban,” Ahmadzai said, adding that ANDSF have been able to recapture Chaahab district as clearing operation is underway in the district.
On the other hand, a member of parliament’s international security commission Wazhma Safi says tactically retreating from districts has increased pressure on provincial capitals and some provincial cities will probably fall to the hand of Taliban, which will create problem for the government in future.
There are reports that Pushtroad and Jawin districts in Farah as well as Zabul’s Arghandab district have newly fallen to the hand of Taliban, but government sources have not commented on this so far. Residents of the respective districts say they are facing with lots of problems due to continued fighting in their districts.
They said the districts have fallen to the hand of Taliban due to lack of equipment and ammunitions.
“Pushtroad district has fallen to the hand of Taliban when security forces did not receive timely ammunition and reinforcement as well as close air support,” said Ahmad Sayed, a resident of Pushtroad district. Samim, a resident of Takhar’s Ashkamish, says the district has been under Taliban’s siege for the past one month. He said Taliban has intensified their attacks on the district and finally captured the district.
A number of residents of districts that have fallen to the hand of Taliban recently have similar views, saying that they’re facing with lots of problems.
Representatives of Badakhshan people in parliament by expressing concern over increasing insecurities and Taliban attacks in Badakhshan consider Badakhshan as one of the strategic and important provinces bordering with Pakistan, China and Tajikistan, stressing that most districts of the province are facing with increasing threats posed by the Taliban who are working to destabilize the province.
Meanwhile, members of Takhar provincial council say although the government has taken steps to clear areas from presence of armed Taliban fighters, but the steps have not been sufficient as most areas of some districts are under Taliban’s serious threats.
Based on reports, Qisar and Dawlatabad districts in Faryab, Shahrak and Tolak districts in Ghor, Gizab and Chinarto in Uruzgan, Jaghato and Aabban in Ghazni, Sang-e-Atash and Jawand districts in Badghis, Ashkamesh and Chah Aab in Takhar, Arghanjkhwa in Badakhshan, Pato district in Daikundi, Sozma Qala in Sar-e-Pul and Zari in Balkh have recently fallen to the hand of Taliban. But, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are now making efforts to recapture the fallen districts from the Taliban.