(Herat) Afghan forces fought off a Taliban attack on Thursday on the outskirts of Herat, the large city in western Afghanistan near the Iranian border and the third largest city in terms of population in Afghanistan, local authorities said.
Posted on Jul 29, 2021 at 4:23 pm
The Afghan insurgents recently occupied several districts in Herat province and two border posts there, Islam Qala, the main border crossing with Iran, and the Torghundi with Turkmenistan.
“Taliban fighters launched attacks last night near the city of Herat, particularly in the Guzara district, about ten miles south of downtown Herat, the provincial capital with around 600,000 inhabitants,” said the provincial governor’s spokesman for AFP.
Fighting broke out in the Karokh district, which borders Herat to the east.
“Fortunately, their attacks were repulsed by the Afghan security forces,” continued Jailani Farhad, adding that clashes occurred sporadically in Guzara district.
According to an AFP correspondent, Afghan forces and militiamen were stationed in the Herat area by Ismail Khan, a powerful local warlord who opposes the Taliban.
The governor’s spokesman said four members of the Afghan security forces were killed in fighting around 3 miles outside the city limits.
He claimed that between 30 and 40 Taliban had died in the two hotspot districts without this number being independently verified.
Ismail Khan, an Afghan warlord who fought against the Soviet occupation forces and the then Taliban regime (1996-2001), had promised in early July to take up arms against them in order to counter their advance in Herat province, their stronghold .
“We will soon go to the front and, with God’s help, change the situation,” said Ismail Khan.
Khan was one of the key leaders of the Northern Alliance that helped overthrow the Taliban regime during the United States-led international intervention in Afghanistan in late 2001 after refusing to meet Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. to be delivered after the attacks of 11.
In early May, the Taliban launched a major offensive against the Afghan armed forces to begin the final, now almost complete, withdrawal of 10,000 NATO soldiers – including 2,500 Americans – in Afghanistan.
Within three months, they conquered large, predominantly rural areas of the country, confronted with government troops that had previously offered little resistance and now essentially only control the provincial capitals and most of the provinces.