Stunning speed of Taliban victories ramps up pressure on Kabul — and Washington

In less than a week, the Taliban has overtaken seven provincial capitals, terrorizing its people.

By

National News

August 9, 2021 - 11:37 AM

An Afghan militiaman stands on a vehicle Aug. 6 keeping a vigil along a road on the outskirts of Herat. (-/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

AMMAN, Jordan – On the verge Monday of seizing its sixth and seventh provincial capitals in less than a week, the Taliban has stunned observers with its lightning takeover of large swaths of Afghanistan in recent days — raising uncomfortable questions for Washington as the Biden administration forges ahead with its

Monday saw the Taliban advance on Gardez, the capital of Paktia province in Afghanistan’s east. There were also reports that the radical Islamic group had taken Aybak, the capital of northern Samangan province, as fighters pressed ahead with a countrywide offensive that has seen a crushing rout of Afghan government forces in many places.

As part of the 2020 peace deal between the Taliban and the Trump administration, the insurgents, who control much of the Afghan countryside, had pledged to avoid attacking the country’s 34 provincial capitals, which have remained — with U.S. and NATO assistance — bastions of government control.

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