The fall of the northern district of Bilchiragh in Faryab province, is part of a disturbing pattern of Afghan forces being surrounded by the Taliban and then either overwhelmed or forced to surrender.
In what has become an all too familiar scene in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters celebrated their victory and looted a district center in broad daylight, without fear of reprisal.
The Taliban occupied a police station in Ghazni City and looted the facility even as Resolute Support claimed the entire city was under Afghan government control.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a school in the Afghan capital yesterday. The so-called caliphate’s jihadists regularly target Shiite civilians in its “suicide and complex attacks.”
The Taliban never slowed in launching numerous attacks across the country even as it committed significant resources to the fight in Ghazni.
According to a new report published by the United Nations, al Qaeda’s “alliance with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan remains firm,” as al Qaeda and the Taliban are “closely allied.” Some of the UN’s Member States consider al Qaeda’s global network to be a bigger long-term threat than the Islamic State.
In addition to Ajristan and Khwaja Umar, the districts of Nawur, Jaghatu, and Deh Yak have fallen to the Taliban. Meanwhile, Resolute Support has intentionally misled the the public about the status of seven of Ghazni’s districts. Resolute Support claimed these districts were under government control; in reality the Taliban physically controlled the terrain while the Afghan government operated the government remotely from Ghazni City.
Meanwhile, Resolute Support continues its claim Ghazni City is under Afghan control and uses Taliban body counts as a measure of success.