A Tajik commander in the Al Qaeda-linked Jamaat Ansarullah who was appointed to lead several districts in northern Afghanistan continues to celebrate the group’s ties to the Taliban.
Islamic State emir Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi died during a daring overnight raid conducted by U.S. special operations forces in Idlib province in northeastern Syria, ending a two-year hunt for the group’s leader. His demise does not mean the end of the Islamic State is at hand.
The mountainous fortress province of Panjshir fell only seven days after the Taliban launched its assault. The Taliban is now in complete control of the country, and is set to declare its Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Taliban launched attacks on three mountain passes that lead to Panjshir province, the last bastion of resistance in Afghanistan. The National Resistance Front repelled the assault.
While the Panjshir resistance’s odds remain long, it stands a chance to not only divert and disrupt Taliban operations but create a groundswell of interest that could lead to a larger campaign with more sustainable momentum.
The Taliban seized control of four more provincial capitals, and cemented it control of the strategic south with the capture of Zabul and Uruzgan provinces. The road to Kabul is now open.
With Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the hands of the Taliban, the rest of the south will go under Taliban control in short order.
Kandahar City, the country’s second largest city collapsed after Taliban forces besieged it for more than two months. It is the third major city to and the fourth provincial capital fall to the Taliban today.
The Taliban directly threatens 17 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals, while 18 of the provinces are under direct threat of falling under Taliban control, according to an assessment by FDD’s Long War Journal.