- Taliban fighters could isolate Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul within 30 days and potentially gain control within 90 days
- The group’s rapid advancement comes as US-led foreign military forces continue to make their exit
- Around 65 per cent of the country is controlled by the Taliban, with Faizabad in the northeastern province of Badakhshan being the latest city to fall
- According to the United Nations, more than 1000 civilians have been killed in the last month
- The Taliban denies targeting or killing civilians and has called for an independent investigation
Citing intelligence reports, a US defence official said Taliban fighters could isolate Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul within 30 days and potentially gain control within 90 days.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official told Reuters on Wednesday that the new assessment regarding how long the city could stand was a result of the Taliban’s rapid advancements as US-led foreign forces continue to exit the country.
“But this is not a foregone conclusion,” they added, noting that Afghan security forces could reverse the momentum by putting up more resistance.
The Taliban now controls around 65 per cent of Afghanistan and has taken — or is currently threatening to take — 11 provincial capitals, according to a senior EU official. Faizabad, in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, on Wednesday became the eighth provincial capital to be seized.