The Taliban has been advancing in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country. The Taliban escalated its nationwide offensive in Afghanistan on Sunday, renewing assaults on three major cities and rocketing a major airport in the south. The speed at which Afghan security forces have lost control to the Taliban has shocked . In Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand – once the focus of UK military efforts eyewitnesses described street fighting. According to reports from the city, Afghan forces remained in control of the city center late on Sunday. The current focus of the Taliban’s efforts appears to be a number of key provincial capitals, not least in the country’s south.
There are concerns that the army is incapable of resisting the Taliban’s advances. The fall of a major city would worsen an emerging humanitarian crisis that has already forced large numbers to flee their homes. “The aircraft are bombing the city every minute. Every inch of the city has been bombed,” Badshah Khan, a resident of Lashkar Gah, told media. “Kandahar airport was targeted by us because the enemy were using it as a centre to conduct airstrikes against us,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson. Afghan government officials said the rocket attacks forced authorities to suspend all flights. In recent weeks the fundamentalist Islamist group said it had captured more than half of all Afghanistan’s territory. Thousands have been killed in the conflict, including more than 50,000 Afghan civilians and more than 2,000 US and 400 British troops.