Today, when more than 150 of the 407 regions in Afghanistan are under the Taliban’s control, the movement seems to have concentrated forces on capturing the center cities in large Afghaninstan’s provinces. The center cities of all 34 provinces of Afghanistan are currently controlled by the official Kabul.
Clashes between Afghanistan government forces and the Taliban have continued in and around the key city of Herat in western Afghanistan for several days in a row. Taliban militants have recently attacked the city of Herat that is the third-largest city in the country, located near the Iranian border.
Violent clashes are recorded in the area of the Herat International Airport, and all flights to this part of the country have been cancelled for the second day.
On July 30, the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan claimed that the government forces had recaptured the Guzara district in Herat province from the Taliban, reportedly killing more than 100 militants.
The government forces also suffered casualties. Colonel Abdul Hamid, Commander of the 1st Regiment of Zafar Army Corps, was killed in a clash against the Taliban in Guzara district, Herat province. Moreover, dozens of Militiamen loyal to Ismail Khan were killed in clashes with the Taliban in Herat including Commander Ghulam.
Herat Provincial Council Chief Kamran Alizai fighting against Taliban. Reports of fighting in at least 5 different locations in and around the strategic city of Herat in Western Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/f649u8Qc7V
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) July 31, 2021
Along with Kabul forces, the UN mission came under Taliban’s attack in Herat province. At least one security guard of Afghanistan forces was killed on July 30, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
The UN compound in #Herat was attacked with Afghan guards killed & injured. No indication of crossfire. Initial assessment is of a deliberate attack by Anti-Governmental Element. Attacks against UN may amount to war crime. #Afghanistan
— UNAMA News (@UNAMAnews) July 30, 2021
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned an attack on the UN’s main compound in Herat, saying assaults against personnel and premises of the world organisation are prohibited under international law and may constitute war crimes.
The strategic town of Herat is now surrounded by Taliban militants. If fallen under Taliban’s control, Kabul will lose all chances to recapture the road leading to Iran.
Clashes continue all over the country. Taliban’s advance was reported in the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar in the south of the country, as well as Takhar in north-eastern Afghanistan.
According to the head of the Helmand Provincial Council, Ataullah Afgan, most of the counties in Helmand are already under the control of the Taliban.
In Kandahar, 30 people were injured in battles for the last day.
Today, the attempts of the government forces to stop Taliban’s advance seem desperate, as the ring around Kabul is narrowing. All southern and western regions are lost, and even if the center cities in these provinces remain under Kabul’s control, the roads around were taken by the militants and the cities are now besieged.
The north-eastern borders with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, where Russia is actively increasing its military support, may soon become the last hope for Afghanistan government. However, Moscow has clearly declared its unwillingness to enter the conflict in Afghanistan.
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