August 11, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Taliban could isolate Afghanistan’s capital Kabul in 30 days and potentially take it over in 90 days, a U.S. defense official told Reuters on Wednesday, citing a U.S. intelligence assessment.

Taliban fighters have taken control of eight provincial capitals in six days, a pace that has surprised U.S. officials.

Taliban forces now control 65% of Afghanistan and have taken or threaten to take 11 provincial capitals, a senior EU official said on Tuesday.

The U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new assessment followed the rapid gains the Taliban had been making around Afghanistan.

“But this is not a foregone conclusion,” the official added, saying that the Afghan security forces could reverse the momentum by putting up more resistance against the insurgent group.

The United States has essentially pulled all troops out of Afghanistan, except those staying to protect the U.S. embassy and airport in Kabul, with the military mission set to end on August 31.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *