Review of the latest military situation in Afghanistan, 13 August 2021
In recent days, the Taliban have gained complete control of six provinces and captured 18 provincial capitals, a widespread advance that shows the Taliban’s upper hand in Afghanistan’s military and political confrontation.
The southern front:
As expected, the Taliban goals in southern Afghanistan were achieved in a short time, and it can be said that southern Afghanistan is under the full control of the Taliban. These goals included: Chahar Burjak district in Nimruz province, Farah city, the capital of Farah province, Lashkar Gah city, the capital of Helmand province, and Kandahar city, the capital of Kandahar province, which were captured by the Taliban in recent days. The city of Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, also surrendered to the Taliban without fight, and currently only government areas of Gereshk city and the important Shorabak base (Camp Bastion) in northern Helmand province are under government control. The status of the deployment of foreign forces in Shorabak is unknown and there is a possibility of the presence of foreign forces in this base.
The northwest front:
In this area, the cities of Sar-e-Pul, Qala-e-Naw, the capital of Badghis province, Firozkoh, the capital of Ghor province, and Herat, which played a pivotal role in northwestern Afghanistan, have been completely captured by the Taliban. And the only points that are under the control of government forces are Ghormach city in the north of Badghis province, Maimana city in the center of Faryab province and Aqinah crossing in the north of this province.
These cases, like other areas, may be surrendered to the Taliban by compromise or betrayal by the rulers of those areas.
The north and northeast fronts:
In the northeast, after Kunduz, Aybak, the capital of Samangan province, Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province, Pul-e-Khumri city in Baghlan province, Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province and Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, Mazar-e-Sharif city and Samangan districts have also been targeted by the Taliban. Given the presence of Generals Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad Noor in Mazar-e-Sharif, as well as the announcement of their alliance to confront the Taliban, heavy fighting is likely to take place in Mazar-e-Sharif in the coming days.
The situation in some parts of northern Afghanistan, such as Taloqan Airport, Farkhar and Warsaj districts in southern Takhar province, is unclear and is said to be under the control of government forces and Ahmad Massoud.
“Ahmad Massoud”, the son of the martyr Ahmad Shah Massoud, with the help of some foreign factors such as “Bernard-Henri Levy” who were behind the wars in many regions such as the project for the division of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Libyan war, etc., has absorbed a lot of forces in recent months. He has stationed most of his forces in Panjshir and is said to be recruiting and training troops to enter the battles in Afghanistan.
In the current situation where the Taliban opposition has lost its morale and leaders such as Ismail Khan, and General Dostum have been defeated by the Taliban, Ahmad Massoud can revive his father name and make a serious move to fight the Taliban and even take the northern regions out of Taliban control. Of course, if this happens, Afghanistan will become more chaotic and the ways to achieve peace will be more limited.
The central front:
According to the latest news from the central Front, which has had calmer days than other areas, the city of Tirinkot, the capital of Uruzgan province, has been captured by the Taliban after 50 days of resistance against the Taliban.
Hazaristan can be considered one of the last steps of the Taliban to take control of Afghanistan, because they know that their only serious opponent in this land is the “Hazaras”. Therefore, they do not intend to clash with them, and they have repeatedly emphasized that they respect the rights of different ethnic groups and religions, especially the Shiites, and that they will participate in the administration of the country and next government positions.
Unlike other ethnic groups, there is no powerful figure in the body of the Hazaras who can create consensus and unity, and this factor can be considered the reason for their small role in various governments in the past.
Disagreements and lack of strong unity and alliances between Mohammad Mohaqiq, Karim Khalili, Abdul Ghani Alipour and other local commanders are a major threat to the Hazaristan future.
If, as in the Shiite areas of Sar-e-Pul, Herat and provinces, they tolerate the Taliban, their role in the development of Afghanistan will be more prominent than in the past.
The outcome of Iran’s consultations, one of which has been the avoidance of tension between the Taliban and Shiites in Afghanistan, certainly includes the interests of Afghan society, But the arbitrariness of some Taliban commanders in crimes against Hazaras and Shiites, as well as the exaggeration and lies of some ignorant media and analysts about these issues, could be an another major threat for peace in Afghanistan.
The eastern front:
Taliban activities in these areas are slow and the peak of these movements has been in Logar and Ghazni provinces.
Gardez city, the capital of Paktia province, and Maidan Shahr, the capital of Maidan Wardak province, are among the Taliban’s primary targets, and given the Taliban’s activities in the past 48 hours, their attacks on these areas are likely to intensify soon.
In general, the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government and the entry to Kabul is the last step of the Taliban program. The realization of one of these two issues is the beginning of entering the political arena of Afghanistan, and the next steps can be analyzed in light of the future developments described in this article.