Taliban Forces Seize Farming District Near Key Afghan Provincial Capital

Taliban Has Continued to Gain Territory Around Lashkar Gah

A summer-long offensive in the Helmand Province has allowed the Taliban to gain considerable territory in the valuable opium-producing regions, and they have gained yet more over the weekend as they continue to approach the provincial capital city.

Over the weekend, Taliban forces overran another farming district, this one along the Helmand River, on the opposite side from the city. Police claimed heavy casualties in the area, and that they are unable to repel the Taliban fighters without reinforcements.

This has been a recurring problem in Helmand and elsewhere, where the Taliban has been able to overrun the defensive forces pretty easily, and is able to retain such territory with relative ease in the absence of reinforcements, which tend to be difficult to get deployed in large numbers.

The Afghan military’s problems with corruption and “ghost troops,” which exist only on paper and only for the purposes of some commander collecting their salaries, have meant the Afghan military doesn’t have nearly as many troops in real life as it is paying for, and this often means its defensive posts are undermanned, with reinforcements limited.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.