A whole bunch of Taliban fighters had been killed in fierce battles with authorities forces throughout a number of provinces of Afghanistan, officers mentioned Saturday, as Washington introduced it could end withdrawing its troops from the nation by the top of August.
Washington’s announcement got here in spite of everything US and NATO troops vacated their fundamental Bagram Air Base, from the place the coalition forces led operations for 20 years in opposition to the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies.
Over the previous 24 hours, greater than 300 Taliban fighters had been killed in preventing with authorities forces, the ministry of defence mentioned Saturday.
Scores had been killed in air strikes, together with a pre-dawn assault on Saturday, within the southern province of Helmand, the place the insurgents and authorities troops have repeatedly clashed.
There have been fears that Afghan forces would wrestle with out the air assist that the US has offered.
“In current days, the Afghan air pressure has intensified its air strikes in opposition to the Taliban hideouts and the insurgents have suffered casualties,” Attaullah Afghan, a member of Helmand provincial council, instructed AFP.
The Taliban rejected the federal government’s claims.
Either side typically exaggerate one another’s casualties and their claims are troublesome to independently confirm.
However since Might 1 when the US army started its closing withdrawal of about 2,500 troops, the 2 warring sides have clashed fiercely throughout the rugged countryside.
In consequence, the Taliban has seized dozens of districts in blistering assaults concentrating on authorities forces.
Even because the preventing rages, the Pentagon has pressed on with its withdrawal to finish America’s longest battle.
On Friday, all US and NATO troops left Bagram Air Base, signalling that the army involvement for coalition forces was lastly nearing its finish.
‘Hub For Overseas Intervention’
Through the years, the mini-city north of Kabul has been visited by a whole bunch of 1000’s of US and NATO service members and contractors.
It has nice army and symbolic significance.
“For a lot of Afghans, Bagram is remembered because the hub for multiple international intervention, because it was the primary air base for the Soviets all through their occupation of the nation as properly,” mentioned Andrew Watkins, an Afghanistan skilled on the Worldwide Disaster Group.
“Not solely has it been the entry level of most international troops which have handed via the nation since 2001, it has been residence to lots of the in-country air property which have lent the Afghan safety forces such a significant benefit on the battlefield.”
The exit of international troops from Bagram has additional fuelled considerations the nation may slide into new civil battle, as within the 1990s after the Soviets left.
“I see historical past repeating. The Individuals are doing the identical what the Russians did. They’re going with out ending the battle,” mentioned Kabul resident Dawood Hotak.
“I really feel our nation will slide again into one other civil battle because the Taliban have intensified their assaults and the Individuals are exiting.”
On the White Home Friday, President Joe Biden tried to ease these considerations.
He mentioned the US army is preserving an “over the horizon capability” which may deliver firepower to assist the federal government and its forces if wanted.
Media reviews say the Pentagon will most likely retain about 600 troops in Afghanistan to protect the huge US diplomatic compound in Kabul.
White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki additionally mentioned that the exit of international troops from Bagram didn’t imply that the general withdrawal of international forces could be accomplished inside days.
Overseas troops could be out of Afghanistan “by the top of August”, she mentioned, nearer to the September 11 deadline set by Biden.
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