#AceNewsReport – Aug.13: The #Taliban captures Kandahar and scores of American weapons and military equipment from Afghan security forces as the terrorist group accelerates its takeover following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country…
#AceDailyNews says #Taliban capture Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city in what is a crushing blow for the government and a major win for the militants as the southern city was once their stronghold, and is strategically important as a trade hub.
The insurgents also seized the nearby city of Lashkar Gah and now control about a third of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals as tens of thousands of civilians have fled the Taliban advance and many have travelled to the capital Kabul to seek safety and are sleeping on the streets there.
“We have no money to buy bread, or get some medicine for my child,” a 35-year-old street vendor who fled northern Kunduz province after the Taliban set fire to his home told the BBC.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan in the past month, according to the UN.
There are increasing concerns that the militants will continue their rapid offensive toward Kabul.
People are in disbelief over their rapid gains, the BBC Yogita Limaye in Kabul reports, with the silence from the country’s top leadership leading to rumours and speculation about what could lie ahead for the capital.
The insurgent advance comes as US and other foreign troops withdraw after 20 years of military operations.
The US is to send nearly 3,000 troops to Kabul airport to evacuate a “significant” number of embassy staff on special flights. The UK is deploying 600 troops to support British nationals leaving the country. Staff at the British embassy have been reduced to a core team.
Why is Kandahar so important?Kandahar: Afghanistan’s turbulent province
Kandahar is the Taliban’s birthplace, and so taking control of the city of 600,000 people is a significant prize for the militants.
They had occupied the city’s outskirts for a number of weeks before launching their attack on the centre.
On Wednesday, the Taliban breached Kandahar’s central prison, and on Thursday, images on social media reportedly showed insurgents in the city centre.
A resident told the AFP news agency that government forces appeared to have withdrawn en masse to a military facility outside Kandahar.
Kandahar is considered strategically important because of its international airport, its agricultural and industrial output and its position as one of the country’s main trading hubs.
#Taliban seizes US weapons and military equipment as takeover accelerates and capitals fall one by one to being overrun as forces are pushed back to Kabul where troops from U.S and U.K. are being flown into airlift and support fleeing nationals …..by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, August 12, 2021:
Taliban terrorists are now in possession of U.S.-made military vehicles, anti-aircraft guns, armored tanks, and artillery. The munitions were provided to Afghan security forces to secure the country as the United States ends its two-decade war there. The Taliban have overwhelmed Afghan forces, taking over key Afghan provinces and using U.S. weapons to power the offensive.
“These captured systems will increase the mobility and lethality of the Taliban, making them a more formidable adversary,” said Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “We have already seen the Taliban using captured humvees to patrol Kunduz and Sar-e Pol.”
With the situation in Afghanistan deteriorating, the United States announced that it is sending 3,000 troops back into the country to help evacuate the vulnerable American embassy in Kabul. President Joe Biden left for vacation shortly after the announcement. Vice President Kamala Harris dodged questions about the situation on Thursday afternoon, when a reporter asked if “Afghanistan is lost to the Taliban.” Harris would not answer, but said she would be briefed on the matter.
Military experts fear Afghanistan will once again become a breeding ground for terrorists and militant groups like al Qaeda.
Annie Aleman, a GOP strategist with the American Security Project, predicted on Thursday that Kabul could soon fall to the Taliban.
“It is very reasonable to expect that Kabul will fall by the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this year,” Aleman said….
Afghanistan: Journalists get threats in Afghanistan, ‘stop working in Taliban-controlled areas,’” by Nikesh Mandal, News Track Live, August 10, 2021:
Journalists in Afghanistan are suffering from serious threats in conflict areas and have quit working in the Taliban-controlled regions, a country-based media advocacy group said on Tuesday.
The group, Nai-Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan, said some journalists have fled areas recently seized by the Taliban. “Some of our journalists in Taliban-controlled areas escaped,” said Sediqullah Tawhidi, head of Afghan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC). Afghan journalists asked the Taliban to ensure the safety of journalists, and freedom of speech.
“In the areas where fighting is ongoing, the government has looked at a place for journalists, and will transfer them if the situation gets worse,” a local Afghani quoted Mujib Khalwatgar, head of Nai. The Taliban’s offensive has been targeting journalists and innocent civilians. On Sunday, editor-in-chief of Afghanistan’s Paktia Ghag radio station, Toofan Omari was killed in the Deh Sabz district of Kabul. While Niamatullah Hemat, editor-in-chief of the local Boost radio station and reporter of Gharghakht TV channel based in Khost province, was taken hostage by the Taliban in Nawa district of Helmand province….
#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: Aug.13: 2021:
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