Taliban Continue Offensive, Seize Afghan Border Crossing

Hundreds of Taliban sweep into border town

Taliban offensives in northern Afghanistan continue apace, with hundreds of fighters seizing the Shir Khan border town neighboring Tajikistan. Afghan soldiers have abandoned their posts, with some fleeing into Tajikistan.

This is the latest of a lot of losses in the area. The border crossing is some 50  km from Kunduz, whose provincial capital is also being attacked, and seems at risk of falling. The Faryab Province capital is similarly being raided.

The Afghan government has faced precipitous losses recently, with the UN reporting that 50 out of 370 government-held districts have fallen outright. The rate of losses seems to be growing in recent weeks.

A big part of the losses seems to be the Afghan government withholding reinforcements in engagements, letting their troops get overrun and then trying to retake the territory at a later date. This gives the illusion of being on a counter-offensive, but they aren’t retaking nearly so much as they’ve lost.

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.