The Advanced Control Of The Taliban

In the wake of the 9/11 horrific attacks in New York, the world has gained its attention towards a political, ultraconservative, and revolutionary group known as the “Taliban”.

The group’s history is indeed controversial as there are misconceptions about who they truly are, how and why they started, or what led them to reach a thriving state. After the Taliban refused to hand over the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden, The United States invaded Afghanistan. However, two decades later, the Taliban is ironically on the edge of returning to power.

Born apparently in 1994, throughout an especially tumultuous period in Afghan history, the Taliban has ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001 with a crude mixture of ethnocentrism, theocratic intolerance, and extreme cruelty. Today, Afghanistan remains a country in tragic need of solid international support.

The Taliban believed that they must restore peace and enforce their ascetic version of Islamic law once in power. They rapidly extended their influence from south-western Afghanistan. The country’s territory comprises 421 districts, including the capital cities of the 34 provinces. By 1995, they captured the province of Herat, bordering Iran, and afterward, they captured the Afghan capital, Kabul. By 1998, the Taliban fully controlled 90% of Afghanistan.

Fast forward a decade later, in January 2018, The Taliban controlled just 14 districts, while the Afghan government controlled around 120 districts, and the rest of the territory was contested. Last year, in February 2020, the group signed a peace treaty with the US, winning close to 80 districts.

Nonetheless, the Taliban is now in control of almost 150 districts after US president Joe Biden has announced the withdrawal of all US forces in April 2021. Without a doubt, the Taliban fighters are distressingly advancing. After the recent announcement that the US troops withdrew, a fillip to their campaign was provided to the Taliban in order to capture territories across the rural areas of Afghanistan.

Despite the fact that a peace agreement has been signed between the group and the US, the group continues to launch attacks against civilians and the Afghan government, eventually leading to the capture of rural areas of Afghanistan. In Kabul, as a Taliban delegation for discussions to release prisoners and for the Afghan government and the Taliban to negotiate peace, most of the country is severely contested and ravaged by violence.

Just two days after the US troops’ withdrawal, the group managed to capture Panjwai, a district that has been a target to the Taliban for a relatively long time, leading scores of families to flee their homes. As expected, ever since the foreign pull-out have started, the Taliban has seized at least 30 districts.

Thousands of civilians have fled their homes in southern Afghanistan to escape violent attacks following the withdrawal of US forces from a military base in the area. (AFP)

Furthermore, in under seven weeks only, the group have seized three districts in Uruzgan; Sar-e Pol, a Taliban stronghold in the country’s north; Ghor, an unstable province located in the central highlands; and Ghazni, a strategic province straddling the main highway that links Kabul and Kandahar, which is the second-largest city in the nation.

Additionally, deadly suicide bombings have been utterly increasing, causing major strikes towards the urban areas.

Currently, The Taliban controls approximately a third of all 421 district and district centers in the country. The group itself is shocked by their own massive progress. In Ghazni province, one of the Taliban’s commanders told NBC News that his fellow fighters and himself are pretty shocked by their improvement. Hence, what comes next for the locals living in the shadow of the base? Compared to only two months ago, the group currently controls nearly twice as much of Afghanistan, leading to concerns regarding whether or not the Afghanistan government can survive once the US forces depart entirely by September 11, 2021. The Taliban has warned that if any foreign troops remain in the country beyond that date, they will face the consequences and be treated as occupiers.

Ashraf Ghani attends a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul. Photograph: Shah Marai/AFP via Getty Images

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani claims that the country’s security forces are fully capable of keeping insurgents at bay. However, as America’s war draws to a close in Afghanistan, the country’s future remains unclear of what is to come.

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