The fired military chief of workers, Lt. Gen. Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, had solely been appointed by Mr. Ghani in June. Since then, a lot of Afghanistan’s common navy surrendered to the Taliban or melted away, permitting the insurgents to grab 9 of the nation’s 34 provincial capitals and many of the countryside.
Particular-operations commando items have been the one a part of Afghanistan’s U.S.-funded nationwide safety forces, theoretically numbering some 350,000 males, to persistently struggle towards the Taliban in current weeks. The pinnacle of the Afghan Nationwide Military’s special-operations command, Maj. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai, took command as the brand new general military chief.
The Taliban pressed forward with their offensive on Wednesday, pushing into the southern metropolis of Kandahar and the japanese metropolis of Ghazni, and mopping up the pockets of routed authorities forces within the nation’s north.
Mazar-e-Sharif, with a inhabitants of half 1,000,000, is the one remaining a part of northern Afghanistan nonetheless beneath authorities management, and its fall would enable the Taliban to assemble their forces for a march on Kabul. Main warlords from the so-called Northern Alliance who battled the Taliban earlier than the 2001 U.S. invasion assembled with Mr. Ghani in Mazar-e-Sharif on Wednesday, promising to roll again current Taliban positive factors.
“The Taliban got here to the north previously, and obtained trapped,” mentioned Uzbek warlord Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, whose personal hometown of Sheberghan was captured by the Taliban over the weekend. “You’ll witness that every one the folks will get up towards them. They need to not complain that Marshal Dostum did this or that to them, or that he killed captives,” he mentioned.
Throughout his Wednesday conferences in Mazar-e-Sharif, Mr. Ghani promised to finish months of bureaucratic delays in supporting the so-called rebellion militias raised towards the Taliban, and to concern financial institution playing cards by way of which these fighters’ salaries could be paid, mentioned Mohammad Afzal Hadid, the top of the provincial council.
“However that is like medication after dying,” Mr. Hadid added. “If he had listened to our recommendation two months in the past, we’d not have confronted the present state of affairs. We’ve got misplaced all possibilities and alternatives.”
Some Mazar-e-Sharif residents seemed to be extra optimistic. “The folks’s morale has improved as a result of Marshal Dostum has come to Mazar to defeat the Taliban,” mentioned Hamid Sadra, an artist within the metropolis. “There isn’t a optimism about Ghani’s journey as a result of folks don’t belief him. He fired safety officers in Mazar many occasions earlier than, however the state of affairs simply stored getting worse.”
The Taliban made additional positive factors on Wednesday, taking up the airport of the northern metropolis Kunduz after the give up of military and police troops who had fled there as soon as town collapsed over the weekend. Movies launched by the insurgents confirmed militants on bikes inspecting a Russian-made helicopter parked there, lacking its fundamental rotor blades. A small unit of special-forces troops refused to give up and escaped into the countryside. Its fast destiny was unknown.
Tons of of presidency troopers from Taliban-conquered provinces in northern Afghanistan have been flocking in current days to Warsaj, a southern district of the Takhar province that adjoins the anti-Taliban stronghold of the Panjshir Valley.
Ahmad Massoud, a son of the late Panjshir commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who led the anti-Taliban resistance till his assassination in 2001, mentioned his males have been offering meals to those troops, however could not do it for lengthy. Commanders of the previous Northern Alliance wanted the extent of assets that solely a authorities may present to beat again the Taliban, he mentioned.
“We’re able to play an vital function, we’re able to struggle. However we have now been disarmed,” mentioned Mr. Massoud. “This can be a vital time in Afghanistan’s historical past. All the things we achieved is at stake. We solely have weeks.”
Khaliullah, a resident of Kandahar, mentioned the Taliban surrounded town’s fundamental jail Wednesday however haven’t been in a position to take over and free the inmates. Retailers and markets within the metropolis heart have been closed, he mentioned, and the sound of occasional airstrikes rang by way of the empty streets.
This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content
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