The Taliban have stepped up their offensive in recent weeks, taking surrounding rural districts and provincial capitals, after US President Joe Biden said in April that US troops would be withdrawn by September, ending a foreign military presence from 20 years.
“The United States has stepped up its airstrikes in support of Afghan forces over the past few days and we stand ready to continue this increased level of support in the weeks to come if the Taliban continue their attacks,” the naval general said. American Kenneth McKenzie at a press conference. in Kabul.
Canada Offers ‘Path to Protection’ for Afghan Interpreters in ‘Critical’ Situation
The story continues under the ad
McKenzie, who heads US Central Command, which controls US forces for an area that includes Afghanistan, declined to say whether US forces would continue with airstrikes after their military mission ended on August 31.
“The Afghan government faces a severe test in the days to come… The Taliban are trying to create a sense of inevitability in their campaign,” he said.
Man rescued after multi-day grizzly bear battle in Alaskan cabin
Feminicide ‘phantom pandemic’ looms, experts warn as Canada prepares to reopen
But he said a Taliban victory was not inevitable and that a political solution was still a possibility.
The Afghan government and Taliban negotiators have met in Qatar’s capital Doha in recent weeks, although diplomats say there have been few signs of a substantial process since the start of peace talks in September. .
Canadian veterans rally to help, as Taliban target Afghan translators
Shocked by losses on the battlefield, the Afghan army is revising its war strategy against the Taliban to concentrate its forces around the most critical areas like Kabul and other cities, border posts and vital infrastructure, have Afghan and American officials said.
McKenzie said there would likely be an increase in violence after a lull after a Muslim holiday this week and said the Taliban could focus on populated urban centers.
“They are going to have to deal with the cities if they want to try to find their way to power,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a given that they’ll be able to capture these urban areas. “