“I can say that in the last several days, we have acted through airstrikes to support the ANDSF, but I won’t get into technical details of those strikes,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby mentioned at a press briefing Thursday.
Three of the final 4 strikes have focused captured equipment, one official mentioned. This consists of US equipment transferred to the ANDSF that the Taliban then captured because it superior all through the nation.
This newest improvement is a sign of the success the Taliban has had because it sweeps throughout the nation, pushing again the Afghan navy and taking on important swaths of territory because the US nears the ends of its withdrawal.
US Central Command, which is in cost of Afghanistan, mentioned lately that the withdrawal of US forces is greater than 95% full. President Joe Biden has mentioned the withdrawal can be full by the top of August. Approximately 650 troops are set to stay in the nation to safe the US diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, together with the embassy, and to help in securing Kabul’s worldwide airport, which is a obligatory facility for the motion of diplomats.
On Wednesday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley mentioned the Taliban held roughly 212 or 213 of the nation’s 419 districts. Although the Taliban had not captured any of the 34 provincial capitals, it had surrounded half of them in an try to isolate key inhabitants facilities, Milley mentioned.
“Strategic momentum appears to sort of be with the Taliban,” Milley mentioned. The Afghan navy was consolidating its forces to guard the provincial capitals and Kabul, Milley mentioned. The Eid vacation has led to a lull in the preventing, Milley added, however he famous that the scenario all through the nation would change into clearer following the vacation.
“There’s a possibility of a complete Taliban takeover or a possibility of any number of other scenarios, breakdown, warlordism, all other kinds of scenarios that are out there. We’re monitoring very closely, I don’t think the end game is yet written,” he mentioned.
At least a portion of the primary group of 2,500 Afghans who’re in the ultimate phases of their SIV purposes might be housed at Ft. Lee in Virginia, Kirby mentioned earlier this week. The relocation may happen as early as subsequent week, sources mentioned.
Miller, who was the longest-serving US commander all through America’s almost twenty years of navy involvement in Afghanistan, has repeatedly voiced concern in regards to the tempo of the Taliban’s territorial positive aspects and the potential for civil battle in the nation as soon as the US navy marketing campaign is full.
As he handed off management duties, Miller famous the escalating violence pushed by Taliban assaults and emphasised that it’ll not assist set up a political settlement with the Afghan authorities.
“I’m one of the US military officers who’s had the opportunity to speak with the Taliban,” Miller mentioned. “And I’ve told them … it’s important that the military sides set the conditions for a peaceful and political settlement in Afghanistan. We can all see the violence that’s taking place across the country. But we know that with that violence, what is very difficult to achieve is a political settlement.”