Taliban Captures Major North Afghan City of Kunduz

Interior Ministry: Defenses in City 'Collapsed' in Face of Latest Offensive

During their annual Spring Offensive, the Taliban set its sights on northern parts of Afghanistan, particularly centering on the Kunduz Province. The fighting continued throughout spring and summer, with Taliban forces seizing several districts. Today, they captured the city of Kunduz itself.

The Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed that defenses in the city had “collapsed” in the face of the latest offensive, and while they’re talking up a counteroffensive to try to retake the city, the Taliban have wasted no time in capturing all the significant buildings in the city, and are moving on the airport.

They also captured the city’s main prison, releasing hundreds of Taliban forces that had been held there, who will now be reinforcing the Taliban defense of the city. This is the second major prison break the Taliban has done in the last month.

The loss of Kunduz is a huge blow to the Afghan government, because it had never really been under control of the Taliban even when the Taliban were in power. Kunduz was the center of the Northern Alliance rebellion against the Taliban, which eventually took over the key government positions during the US occupation, and holds them to this day.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.