Afghan special forces arrive for a battle with the Taliban in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
New York Times: On Their Own, Afghan Forces Strain to Combat Taliban Offensives
KABUL, Afghanistan — As Afghan forces struggle to break a weeklong Taliban siege of central neighborhoods in the provincial capital of Kunduz, insurgents are also stepping up pressure on urban centers in western and southern Afghanistan, officials said Sunday.
In Farah Province, in the west, Afghan security forces have called for reinforcements to hold the line against the insurgents’ offensive. Fierce battles are also raging around Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, in the south, which has been surrounded for months as Afghan forces have failed to reverse Taliban gains.
The fall of central areas of Kunduz City, where street-to-street fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people, has punctured the belief that Afghan forces, trained and financed by Western allies, could protect major urban centers. In recent months, Afghan troops have suffered record casualties.
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Update #1: Not their job: Turning Afghanistan’s special forces into regular troops (Washington Post).
Update #2: Taliban explosives are becoming more powerful. Afghan soldiers are paying the price. (Washington Post)
WNU Editor: If it was not for the 10,000 U.S. and allied forces in the country .... backed with their air power and coupled with massive aid .... I cannot help but feel that the Afghan war would have been over a year or two ago .... and that the Taliban would now be in charge.