Afghan soldiers prepare for Taliban terrorist group to attack cities after the U.S. army leaves
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The Taliban are encircling Afghan police and army positions and encroaching on government-held territory, positioning themselves for large-scale offensives against major population centers while waiting for the last American troops to depart Afghanistan.
The insurgents are pushing their advantage on the battlefield ahead of a full U.S. exit, even as they continue peace talks with the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar. President Biden has said the withdrawal would be completed by Sept. 11. Other American officials indicate the remaining U.S. presence—and the vital air support they provide Afghan government forces—will be gone much sooner, maybe as early as next month.
In the ebb and flow of the Afghan war, government troops sometimes still manage to retake areas like Arghandab, a fertile valley on the western edge of Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city. Taliban fighters fled parts of Arghandab in early April, after strikes from U.S. war planes made the difference following months of intense ground fighting.
But with air support ending within weeks, government forces will lose a pivotal edge in the conflict.
Saeed Ahmad, a 25-year-old policeman in Arghandab, said his unit won’t hold out for long without airpower or a significant influx of heavy weaponry. “In this situation, we won’t be able to protect Kandahar,” he said.