Afghan Forces plan counter-offensives as Taliban advance towards big cities

DM Monitoring

KABUL: Afghanistan’s National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are getting prepared for counter-offensives to regain control of the lost districts amid Taliban militants’ advances towards big cities with the latest attack launched on Qala-e-Naw city, the capital of the western Badghis province.
Taliban militants who have reportedly captured more than 100 districts since the start of the U.S.-led forces withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 1 have been attempting to tighten the noose around big cities.
In the latest attempts to overrun big cities, the armed group attacked Qala-e-Naw on Wednesday, but they were beaten back, according to the province’s governor Hasamudin Shams.
The militants have tightened their offensives on Kunduz city, the capital of the northern Kunduz province, the neighboring Takhar’s provincial capital Taluqan, and Faizabad, the capital of the Badakhshan province.
Amid the rapid Taliban advances, the government has been making preparations for launching counter-offensives to regain the lost territories, ANDSF spokesman General Ajmal Omar Shinwari said.
“We are preparing and chalking out the plan for counter-offensives and launching attacks,” Shinwari told reporters Wednesday.
The official also noted that the government forces had recaptured 14 districts from the Taliban outfit recently.
On Tuesday, Hamdullah Mohib, presidential advisor on national security, disclosed the government forces preparing for launching counter-offensives saying that the increase in the violence by the Taliban militants has demonstrated the armed group’s opposition to the peace process.
He said the “security forces would soon recapture” all the districts overrun by the Taliban militants.
Recently, acting Interior Minister Abdul Satar Mirzakwal also said that the government forces will soon launch counter-attacks to regain the districts captured by the Taliban in the country.
Welcoming people’s uprisings against the Taliban militants in many provinces, he called upon Afghans to mobilize to counter the warmongering armed group.
In the meantime, Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban outfit’s liaison office in Doha, noted in his Twitter account that he appreciated Afghan districts falling into the hands of the armed group.
He also said that Taliban fighters want to ensure security and the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities, will be respected within the framework of Islamic laws in the country.
Moreover, At least 69 Taliban militants were killed and 23 others wounded after the Afghan security forces evicted militants from Qala-e-Naw city, capital of western Badghis province, the country’s Defense Ministry confirmed on Thursday.
“The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), including national army’ commandos, supported by Afghan Air Force targeted militants’ aggregation in multiple locations in Qala-e-Naw on Wednesday,” the ministry said in a statement.
Heavily-armed Taliban militants stormed and briefly took control of the city On Wednesday before the Afghan security forces launched a counter-offensive.
The ANDSF also seized some militants’ weapons and ammunition, the statement added.
“Reinforcement was dispatched and more Afghan National Army commandos arrived in Qala-e-Naw Wednesday night. The security forces’ counter-attack is in full swing now and the situation in the city is getting better,” the statement said.
Taliban militants, who captured control of all Badghis suburban districts, have not commented on the report so far.