Afghan Reinforcements Scramble as Taliban Advances on Helmand Capital

Taliban Forces Poised to Seize Three Key Districts Around Capital

Continuing what started as the 2015 “spring offensive,” the Taliban is continuing to move heavily into Helmand Province, and is poised to capture the Sangin, Marjah, and Gereshk Districts of the province, which would effectively surround the capital city of Lashkar Gah.

The Taliban made efforts to take Sangin last month, briefly seizing it but ceding parts of it back when reinforcements arrived. Afghan troops are scrambling to the area again in hopes of trying to hold off a much bigger loss this time.

Helmand Province is the center of Afghan opium production, and hugely lucrative for the Taliban to control. They’ve fought heavily over the province for years, and seem to be on the verge of retaking the area from the Afghan security forces.

In addition to the valuable districts themselves, control of the area would also give Helmand control over the main highway between Herat and Kandahar, giving them yet more control over the entire southwestern portion of Afghanistan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.