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The situation in Afghanistan is in a tangle.
A Reuters investigation in early July regarding the Taliban assassinating Afghan military pilots was confirmed by the US government that said it was a worrisome trend.
At least 7 pilots have been assassinated off base in recent months.
This is part of what the Taliban claims is a campaign to see U.S.-trained Afghan pilots ‘targeted and eliminated.’
Taliban insurgents have captured districts across Afghanistan and seized vital border control points in recent weeks, as Washington withdraws its last troops after 20 years of war.
The Pentagon now estimates that the fighters control more than half of Afghanistan’s district centers.
The United Nations reported that civilian casualties had been surging in recent weeks, with as many killed in May and June as in the previous four months combined.
On the ground, on July 28th, the Taliban advanced southwest of Herat to the Malan Bridge and captured the villages before it.
In the Karukh district, the Afghan army claims to have repelled a Taliban attack.
Additionally, the Afghan Army repelled an attack to the Dara Suf district in Samangan province.
The Taliban attacked Afghan Army positions in the Muhamad Aghah district in Logar province.
Heavy clashes are continuing in both the Karukh district in Herat province, as well as to the south and west of Kandahar city.
The Taliban have received an impetus and seem to be feeling the taste of victory.
Government forces, alongside fighters affiliated with Mohammad Ismail Khan and the survivors of Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, are stationed in Karukh and stand up to the Taliban.
The Taliban’s campaign will likely receive a further “boost” in confidence, after a delegation of the movement visited China.
China told the Taliban delegation that it expected the group to play an important role in ending Afghanistan’s war and rebuilding the country.
Furthermore, Beijing hopes the Taliban would crack down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as it was a “direct threat to China’s national security,” referring to a group China says is active in the Xinjiang region in China’s far west.
The US considers that it is a “positive thing” if Beijing was promoting a peaceful resolution to the war and “some kind of Afghan government … that’s truly representative and inclusive.”
It is likely a reluctant acknowledgement, since this means Washington’s influence is waning further.
The Afghan Army is still providing some resistance, but it is plain to see that the Taliban have the upper hand on most fronts.