Afghanistan War: Biden Says He Has No Regrets Over Troop Withdrawals
US President Joe Biden has stated “I do not regret my decision” to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan after two decades of war, Biden told reporters in Washington.
He spoke after insurgents took control of Farah city, the capital of the same-named province, and Pul-e-Khumri in Baghlan within hours of each other, according to officials in both locations.
Following the 9/11 attacks on American soil, the US-led military campaign began in 2001, but most foreign troops have since withdrawn.
The Taliban have taken control of nine of the country’s 34 provincial capitals and are threatening to take control of more.
“The Taliban are now in the city,” Baghlan MP Mamoor Ahmadzai told a news agency.
“They have raised their flag in the main square and on governor s office building.”
Mr Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that the US was honouring its promises to Afghanistan, including providing close air support, paying military salaries, and giving food and equipment to Afghan forces.
But he said: “They’ve got to fight for themselves.”
According to US military assessments, the capital Kabul might fall to the Taliban in 90 days, according to the Washington Post.
According to the United Nations, more than 1,000 people have been murdered in the last month as a result of violent fighting between Taliban and government forces. UNICEF, the UN agency for children, warned last week that atrocities against children were becoming “greater by the day.”
“Unless all parties return to the negotiating table and reach a peaceful settlement, the already atrocious situation for so many Afghans will become much worse,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Taliban insurgents have captured three more provincial capitals in the last 24 hours: Faizabad, Farah, and Pul-e-Khumri.
Officials reported rebels in Pul-e-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province, which is roughly 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Kabul, flew their flag on the main square and on the governor’s office on Tuesday.
A local journalist and provincial council member told the reporters that the western city of Farah had fallen. The Taliban also claimed to have captured Faizabad in the country’s northwestern corner on Wednesday.
This week, the militant organisation also took control of the important northern city of Kunduz. It is regarded as a gateway to mineral-rich provinces and is located in a strategically significant location near the Tajikistan border, which is exploited for opium and heroin smuggling.
Heavy fighting has continued in other parts of the nation, and airstrikes have been carried out by US and Afghan planes.
On Wednesday Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani flew to Mazar-i-Sharif in an apparent drive to rally the defenders in the key northern city which is now threatened by the militants.
In recent days, tens of thousands of people have fled their homes.
“We saw bodies lying near the prison… there were dogs next to them,” one woman who fled Kunduz when the Taliban seized power told a news agency.
As Taliban militants focused their attention on government soldiers who had withdrawn to the airport, residents remained in the city said shops had begun to reopen.
“People are opening their stores and businesses, but you can still sense fear in their eyes,” said shopkeeper Habibullah.
Another resident who lives near the airport reported days of intense fighting.
“The Taliban are hiding in people s houses in the area and government forces are bombing them,” said a local person named Haseeb.
International appeals for a ceasefire have been rebuffed by the Taliban.
According to the news reports, if the Afghan state fractures, “perfect conditions” for international terrorism and violent extremism to emerge.
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