Afghan lawmakers are urging the Defense Ministry to send reinforcements to some contested provinces in the nation. Two Afghan MPs asked for troops for the provinces of Takhar and Sar-e-Pul after the centers of two districts in those provinces (Ishkamush & Sozma Qala respectively) fell to the Taliban the night prior. An MP from Badghis province asked for more troops as insurgents push their lines closer to the center of a district in Badghis. Government officials have confirmed that the centers of at least 17 districts across the country have fallen to the Taliban in less than two months.
The Taliban has been making major pushes around the country as US forces withdraw from Afghanistan, an objective set to be complete by September 11th of this year. According to Sayed Hayatullah Alimi, MP from Sar-e-Pul, “(Qala-e-Naw) is under threat by (the) Taliban. In Sozma Qala district, only district building(s) and two check posts have remained”. This morning, TOLOnews, the country’s first 24-hour news service, reported that Tolak district, Ghor province has fallen to the Taliban. District governor Salam Yusufi said, “20 security forces members were killed and 20 more were wounded” in the battle for Tolak. Additionally 10 security personnel were taken prisoner.
Defense officials stated that in the past week security forces inflicted heavy casualties on militants, however the Taliban offensive continues in many of the nation’s historically violent provinces. As US troops get closer and closer to their withdrawal date it will be interesting to see how well Afghan forces fare against extremist groups.