Afghan Reinforcements Scramble as Taliban Contests Major Cities

Taliban seizing districts, contests Kandahar, Herat, and more

The Taliban have been making dramatic gains across Afghanistan in recent months, finding themselves at the point where they are controlling districts in and around some major cities, and over the weekend started contesting some of Afghanistan’s biggest cities.

Taliban are contesting big cities like Kandahar and Herat, and fighting is picking up in Lashkar Gah. Right now, none of the provincial capitals are under direct Taliban control, but any of these could be, which would be potentially a huge shift in the fight.

As the Taliban gets more and more districts, the Afghan government has argued that they retain control of the big population centers. If that stops being the case, this is just momentum turning against them.

Afghan special forces are being rushed around to the cities to try to reverse the situation, and restore calm as locals panic over the possibility of falling under Taliban control.

There is hope that the reinforcements can prevent total defeats, but the Taliban has continued to gain ground, with or without reinforcements.

If big cities start to change hands, it could dramatically change the environment for peace talks. There is a big need to get a pause in fighting as it is, and the government may he forced to accept bigger concessions to get that done, before it is too late.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of