NATO’s initially shrugged off the coordinated Sunday attacks by Taliban fighters in Kabul, but the assessment appears to have been premature, as heavy fighting continued into Monday morning on the streets of the Afghan capital, with no end in sight.
And NATO’s claims that the Afghan government were handling the situation on their own appear to have gone out the window as well, with reports of NATO attack helicopters doing strafing runs near the British and German embassies.
The attacks have been targeting embassies, government offices and military bases across the capital, and nearly every heavily defended site in the capital getting hit at some point over the last 24 hours.
Officials have repeatedly claimed that the fighting is over, but every claim is followed up by more reports of gunfire, and the latest reports have fighting around the Western embassies as well as near the presidential palace and the parliament.
The overall death toll from the attacks is entirely unclear, with reports from early Sunday evening putting it at 19 dead and dozens wounded. The figure has undoubtedly risen in the intense fighting since then.
Following up on coordinated attacks last Monday, this week’s are among the biggest in the 11-year history of the war, and are pointing to a spring escalation even bigger than usual.