MOSCOW: Dozens of occupied settlements and military bases, hundreds of dead and wounded – the Taliban is rapidly increasing the pace of the offensive in Afghanistan. Whole regions of the country have already passed under his control. The blame is the hasty decision of the United States to leave the Afghan army alone with the radicals. Experts are sure: behind the withdrawal of NATO troops lies a well-planned action by Washington, the goal of which is to maximize the tension on the borders of Russia. Is this so – figured out RIA Novosti.
“Fire” at the border
The echoes of the fierce battles of the Afghan army with the units of the radical Taliban movement reached Tajikistan. Judging by the latest reports from the Tajik-Afghan border, the situation is extremely tense.
The other day, the country’s border service reported: as a result of the Taliban attack on the Ukchuk border checkpoint in the Kaldor district of the Afghan province of Balkh, about twenty government servicemen retreated to Tajik territory. And on June 22, militants attacked the Sherkhan-Bandar commissariat in Kunduz province on the very border. More than 130 Afghan soldiers were unable to resist, abandoned their positions and asked for shelter in Tajikistan.
For humanitarian and good neighborly reasons, the border guards allowed the retreating to pass. All in all, the Afghan army only during the fighting in Sherkhan Bandar lost about a hundred soldiers wounded, killed and taken prisoner.
The situation is similar on the Uzbek-Afghan border. The administration of the President of Uzbekistan reported several attempts by the military and civilians to penetrate into the interior of the country. The first such incident occurred on June 23 – 53 people wanted to cross the border. All were eventually returned to Afghanistan. But it is already obvious that the flow of refugees will not stop.
It is noteworthy that the fighting in the northern provinces of the country engulfed in civil war is only 70 kilometers from the location of Russia’s largest military facility abroad – the 201st base in Kurgan-Tyube.
The Tajik authorities have turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). They said they would provide support in connection with the situation on the border with Afghanistan.
“It can be political, military, and military-technical assistance,” said Vladimir Zainetdinov, the organization’s press secretary.
On Thursday, a meeting of the Council of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly was held in Dushanbe. Its participants noted the deterioration of the situation in the immediate vicinity of the southern borders of the organization’s member states, and also noted the high level of military activity in Afghanistan, especially in the northern provinces.
According to Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sokolov, the CSTO will take mobilization measures in any case and strengthen military groupings along the borders with Afghanistan.
“Because the danger is more than serious. Some Taliban leaders admit this, they are talking about it in the West. We are in for a rather difficult period – the advance to Russia from the south will be well organized. It is quite possible that the 201st base in Tajikistan will be strengthened.”
Sokolov even compared the history in Afghanistan with the Syrian campaign, where, if the government forces were defeated, the bulk of the militants would move towards the Russian borders. “The same thing is here – an almost direct threat to the security of both ours and our closest allies,” the expert emphasized.
The troops are gone, the problems remain
The United States and its allies began withdrawing military contingent from Afghanistan on May 1 – before that, the troops had been there for exactly twenty years. The country has already left the divisions of Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Australia. The last foreign soldier is due to leave the republic by September 11 – the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York.
It is noteworthy that President Joe Biden, before the withdrawal of troops, warned the Taliban that attempts to shake the situation would be severely punished. However, everything turned out the way many experts assumed: Afghanistan instantly “flared up”. The fighting unfolded almost throughout the country. The government forces no longer hide that they are unable to cope with the pressure of the radicals.
“The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is a well-thought-out act aimed at annoying Russia,” the expert believes. “Washington is well aware that the process will go further, to the north. The United States will steadily guide it. Russia should expect an aggravation of the situation in the Central Asian republics – it is possible that it will come to our outskirts. “
According to the latest data, the Taliban seized about 60 counties in a short time, while in most cases, even without serious clashes – demoralized government troops simply flee from the advancing militants to the administrative centers.
“Everything will be alright”
However, Moscow is not inclined to dramatize the situation and advise not to rush to conclusions. Zamir Kabulov, the special envoy of the Russian president, director of the second department of Asia of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that it is too early to talk about surrender to the radicals of the entire country.
“There are about 300 counties in Afghanistan, for that matter. Therefore, yes, the combat season is underway, I said in the spring that it would come” on schedule. “If the Taliban took at least one or two provincial centers during this time, it would be possible However, they did not capture a single one. This means that they also have limited opportunities, “the diplomat explained.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova is even more positive – she suggested that after the end of the so-called combat season, the military situation will relatively stabilize and “the opposing sides will be ready to start a constructive peaceful dialogue in deeds, not in words.”
Recall: peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban started in the capital of Qatar on September 12, 2020, but they have not yet come to constructive conclusions – the authorities are forced to use the National Defense and Security Forces in counter-terrorism operations practically throughout the country. …