Heavy fighting erupted in dozens of provinces across Afghanistan over the weekend, with reports over the weekend suggesting that these fights were heavily Taliban attacks timed to the 17-year anniversary of the US invasion.
Over 200 combatants were reported slain, with the Afghan Defense Ministry reporting 156 Taliban slain. Reports have 35 Afghan soldiers killed as of Saturday night, and 15 more killed overnight Sunday in Jawzjan.
The Defense Ministry has sought to rebrand all of that fighting after the fact, now saying that it was a series of “military crackdowns” as opposed to Taliban attacks. That the Afghan government lost territory, and the main highway is closed certainly raise questions about why they would’ve chosen these sites for “crackdowns.”
In reality, the Taliban is gaining more and more territory, and this latest flurry of fighting has left the Kabul-Kandahar highway, Afghanistan’s main highway, closed indefinitely. The Taliban controls more territory than at any time since the US invasion in 2001.