Dozens of Afghan military bases, outposts surrendered to Taliban this month: report
Dozens of outposts and bases in Afghanistan have surrendered to the Taliban since May 1 when U.S. forces began to withdraw from the country, The New York Times reported.
At least 26 outposts and bases in four provinces — Laghman, Baghlan, Wardak and Ghazni — surrendered after the Taliban used village elders to deliver to outposts messages to surrender or be killed, some elders and government officials told the Times.
The insurgent’s territory grab, which includes four district centers, has removed hundreds of government forces from fighting the group and allowed it to gain weapons, ammunition, vehicles and wins to add to its propaganda campaign.
The collapses point to the Afghan government’s swiftly crumbling effort to hold back the Taliban as the United States pulls its troops and equipment from the country following President Biden’s April order to end the more than 20-year conflict.
Biden set Sept. 11 as the deadline for the withdrawal, but reports this week indicate U.S. troops along with NATO allies are expected to be fully out of Afghanistan by mid-July.
The forces are rapidly leaving despite unresolved issues regarding how threats in the region will be handled from afar.
Among those concerns is a rise in violence in Afghanistan due to a spike in clashes between the Afghan military and the Taliban in the past month. The country has also been hit with several bombings, including most recently at a girls school near Kabul that killed dozens of people.
The recent surrenders to the Taliban are only expected to continue as more international troops leave and the group works on a broader spring offensive in which it has surrounded at least five provincial capitols, according to a Pentagon inspector general report released earlier this month.