Counter-offensive planned after forces lost ground in northern provinces, Russian agency RIA said citing President Ghani’s adviser.
Afghan government forces are planning a counteroffensive in the country’s northern provinces after losing ground to the Taliban, Russian news agency RIA said, citing an adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
National security adviser Hamdullah Mohib told RIA in an interview Monday that government forces did not expect the Taliban offensive but would counterattack “absolutely, definitely”.
The Taliban march in northern Afghanistan accelerated overnight with the capture of several districts of fleeing Afghan forces, several hundred of whom crossed the border into neighboring Tajikistan, officials said.
On Monday, Tajikistan’s national security committee said 1,037 Afghan government troops had fled to the former Soviet country “in order to save their lives” after overnight clashes with the Taliban.
“Taking into account the principle of good neighborliness and adhering to the position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, military personnel of the Afghan government forces have been allowed to enter Tajik territory,” the committee said in a statement. press release issued by the government of Tajikistan. Khovar state news agency.
He said the Taliban had taken “full control” of six districts in Badakhshan province on the border with Tajikistan in northeastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban now control about a third of the 421 districts and district centers in Afghanistan.
The group’s largest gains came in the northern half of the country, a traditional stronghold of the allied warlords of the United States who helped defeat them in 2001.
Several hundred Afghan soldiers had already entered Tajikistan after the Taliban launched their assault in early May.
Fighters have seized dozens of Afghan districts, raising fears that the Afghan army will collapse once US and international troops complete their withdrawal from the country in September.
US President Joe Biden has ordered the departure of all US forces from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of this year of the September 11 attacks that sparked the invasion.
Abandoned and empty, families have been forced to flee Kandahar after heavy fighting between Afghan government forces and the Taliban began, with many Afghans concerned about the security situation once US forces left.
“There is no peace. If one helicopter came here, that would be enough for all of Kandahar. Why don’t they use helicopters against them? If they kill me, then who would take care of my children? a Panjwayi resident of Kandahar told Al Jazeera.