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Afghanistan capital Kabul might fall to Taliban inside 90 days, US assesses

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The U.S. assesses that the capital of Afghanistan might fall to the Taliban inside the subsequent 90 days, two sources aware of the matter confirmed to Fox Information, simply weeks earlier than President Biden plans to fully withdraw U.S. troops from the area following almost 20 years of conflict. 

The Taliban seized three extra Afghan provincial capitals and a neighborhood military headquarters on Wednesday, attaining management of two-thirds of the nation. The sources mentioned that the intelligence concerning Kabul’s safety has been dire for a while.


Pentagon officers advised Fox Information that the intelligence group up to date its evaluation of Afghanistan after the Taliban conquered 9 provincial capitals in latest days. 

A CIA evaluation months in the past mentioned Kabul might fall in six months, nevertheless, officers say, at this level, that prediction has been minimize in half. 

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However one U.S. official advised Fox Information that whereas Kabul could possibly be “surrounded” within the subsequent month, he anticipated a protracted civil conflict to interrupt out and the capital to not fall to the Taliban for a number of months, saying that a lot of the 300,000 U.S.-backed Afghan forces will rally across the capital. 

The Taliban’s religious residence of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, seems to be one of many subsequent provincial capitals at risk of falling, and the the restricted U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan by drones, B-52 bombers, and AC-130 gunships in latest days have been concentrated in Kandahar, in what officers name a last-ditch try and maintain town from falling to the Taliban. 

Officers additionally advised Fox Information that Afghan particular forces are concentrated within the south defending Kandahar and are the one ones certified to name in American airstrikes. 


At this level, Afghan particular forces are briefly provide in northern Afghanistan – one of many the reason why there have been so few U.S. airstrikes there. However U.S. officers mentioned dropping bombs on crowded provincial capitals within the north already seized by the Taliban will increase the danger of civilian casualties.

For the reason that U.S. navy left Bagram Air Base, it should now fly from bases in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — an eight-hour journey that leaves little or no time over head in Afghanistan.

Taliban fighters are seen inside town of Farah, capital of Farah province southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. 
(AP Photograph/Mohammad Asif Khan)

The Pentagon’s authority to hold out airstrikes in Afghanistan ends on Aug. 31, when the U.S. navy withdrawal might be full, officers say. After that date, the U.S. navy should get the White Home to approve future airstrikes or get issued a brand new set of authorities from the commander-in-chief.

Final week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blamed the US’ “sudden” resolution to withdraw its troops for the fast collapse of safety within the nation. 

Ghani advised the Afghan parliament that “the final three months” have been an “sudden scenario.” 

He added, although, that the federal government had a U.S.-backed safety plan to carry the scenario beneath management inside six months as peace talks between the federal government and Taliban negotiators proceed to stall, Reuters reported

President Biden in April pushed again former President Donald Trump’s deadline for a navy withdrawal from Might to Sept. 11. The withdrawal started in Might, and by early July the scenario was quickly deteriorating: The Pentagon on July 9 detailed “concerning advancement” by the Taliban within the wake of the withdrawal. 

Two weeks later, the Pentagon mentioned the withdrawal was about 95% completed whereas admitting the Taliban appeared to have “strategic momentum.” 


The president, although, has dedicated to withdrawing troops by Aug. 31. 

“I don’t remorse my resolution,” Biden advised reporters Tuesday. “We spent over a trillion {dollars}, over 20 years. We skilled and geared up with fashionable gear over 300,000 Afghan forces … they have to combat for themselves.”

State Division spokesman Ned Value on Tuesday advised reporters that it “was by no means an possibility for the US to take care of its forces” within the area, doubling down, saying it “was by no means a viable possibility for this president, a president prioritizes the security, the safety, the well-being of our service members, to take care of forces there in important numbers after Might 1.” 

“From April thirtieth to Might 1st, our service members would have develop into – might have develop into, as soon as once more – targets of violence,” Value mentioned. “And that’s one thing that had not occurred because the U.S.-Taliban settlement. That was not a proposition this President, this administration, was prepared to just accept.”

The Biden administration has mentioned it’s going to proceed to assist the Afghanistan navy financially and logistically, together with with contractors serving to preserve the federal government’s air drive, from outdoors Afghanistan, after the withdrawal.

Fox Information’ Peter Aitken and The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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