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Pentagon warns of ‘concerning’ Taliban advances

Abdul Quayom Rahimi, governor of Logar province, gathered hundreds of men this week [Courtesy of Mujtaba Haris]

The Defense Department spokesman on Friday acknowledged the "deteriorating security situation" in Afghanistan amid fresh allegations from the Taliban that its fighters have seized 85 percent of the country's territory.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told CNN he was "not in a position to identify or validate" the Taliban assessment, which was allegedly conducted by a negotiator for the Islamic fundamentalist group at a press conference in Moscow, but "we see them continue to advance in district centers across the country.".This is worrying.”

The Taliban made rapid progress in Afghanistan in recent weeks since President Joe Biden announced in April his order to withdraw all US troops from the country and end America's longest war.

On Friday, Kirby conceded that “nobody can say with certainty” how the ongoing conflict will play out. But he agreed with the president in determining “that it’s not a foregone conclusion. And nobody should think it’s a foregone conclusion that the Taliban are just going to swiftly take over the whole country.”

The Afghan security forces are equipped with “modern weaponry” and have “had training and the ability to be in the field with American forces” for the past two decades, Kirby said. “They’ve got the capacity. They’ve got the capability. Now, it’s time to have that will.”

CTM News

JUly 9 2021


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