September 30, 2022

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Afghanistan: Thousands of soldiers flee the Taliban in Tajikistan

Thousands of Afghan soldiers have taken refuge in Tajikistan overnight from Sunday to Monday after fighting the Taliban in northeastern Afghanistan.

This massive withdrawal of Afghan troops marks the end of a new weekend of fighting, especially as the Taliban have seized dozens of districts in a short period of time across northern Afghanistan, raising fears of a collapse of the Afghan army.

In response, Tajikistan mobilized its forces to “strengthen” the border, while Moscow announced for its part that it would temporarily close a consulate in northern Afghanistan. Square as the situation worsens at the border.

“They don’t want to surrender. They asked for reinforcements, but their demand was ignored, ”said Abdul Bashir, a battalion-based battalion-based battalion member in the Afghan province of Badakhshan.

“If the government supports us, we will fight to the death,” he continued, insisting that his battalion had already suffered heavy losses because it had not received the requested air support.

U.S. and NATO troops, who have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for 20 years, have announced that they have abandoned their key establishment there, with Baghram airbase, the nerve center of international coalition operations, the forerunner of the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country expected by the end of August.

On Monday, the State Committee for National Security – Tajik Security Services – quoted the state-run Gower news agency as saying, “1,037 Afghan government troops have withdrawn from Tajikistan. Taliban ”.

He added that “Taliban militants have taken full control” in six districts of Badakhshan province, which borders Tajikistan at a distance of 910 km.

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Hundreds of Afghan soldiers have fled the Taliban offensive across the border into Tajikistan in recent weeks. Tajikistan has always allowed them to pass, prompting the principle of “respect for the position of good neighbor and non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan”.

Since the end of June, the Taliban have already held the main border post with Tajikistan and other routes to this country, as well as the districts leading to the large Afghan city of Kunduz, the provincial capital of the same name. About fifty kilometers from the Tajik border.

In the face of the situation, Tajik leader Emomali Rakhmon ordered the “mobilization of 20,000 reservists to strengthen the border,” a statement issued on Monday said.

In May, the Taliban stepped up attacks against the Afghan army in a bid to finally withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.

In the face of a series of recorded defeats by the Afghan army, especially in the northern provinces, General Scott Miller, the leader of US forces in Afghanistan, did not rule out airstrikes against the Taliban in late June.

But the United States has not slowed down its withdrawal.

For his part, Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser, promised to launch a counter-attack against the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

– “Emergency” –

“This is an emergency for the Afghan government. They need to step up their counter-offensive as soon as possible,” said Atta Noori, an Afghan analyst.

According to him, “Afghan forces are no longer morale.”

The troop “lost. In every district they capture, the Taliban are sending representatives of notables to surrender troops,” he explains.

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Faced with troops now losing vital US air support, the Taliban have stepped up their attacks in the north in recent days, capturing most of the provinces of Badakhshan and Dakar, where government troops are now out of control. Than provincial capitals.

These two provinces were part of a stronghold of northern coalition forces that opposed the Taliban regime in the 1990s, never capturing it.

This time the speed and simplicity with which the Taliban insurgents captured these provinces was a psychological blow to the Afghan authorities.

At the same time, the Taliban have in recent days moved closer to the capitals of the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, capturing two of their traditional strongholds and surrounding districts.

“We are very tired of this war. At least today, one good thing has been done. One of the two parties had to get to the top,” the AFP, which lives in the Nawa district near Lashkar-e-Taiba, the capital of Helmand, said early Monday.