A violent shooting was heard by the inhabitants of Kabul in the early hours of Sunday morning – Saturday afternoon (14) in Brasilia – sparking concern about a possible invasion of the Afghan capital by the Taliban.
The action, which took place intermittently, took place in the 12th arrondissement of the capital, a peripheral region in eastern Kabul with around half of its area occupied by small rural properties.
While the Taliban, who began their offensive to regain power last Sunday, took the town of Pul-i-Alam (70 km southwest of the capital) on Friday (13), it is feared that the battle for Kabul has not started. it grows.
“We are in the dark, people are sending messages, but here in the center everything is calm,” said journalist Ali Ahmed, also via an app.
It remains to be seen, however, whether the shootings had anything to do with the Taliban. It seems difficult that the group was able to launch the offensive in the region where Ashraf Ghani’s government is concentrating its defenses so quickly, despite the breakneck speed of the assault on cities over the past two weeks.
Ahmed’s hypothesis is that a Taliban patrol may have launched a raid to test the city’s defensive system.
On the military side, the main movement on Saturday appeared to be the takeover of the last major city in the north from the hands of the government, Mazar-i-Sharif. There are 24 provincial capitals out of 34 conquered, and the government seems paralyzed in its reaction. Only 2 of your hands are really important.
All the pressure will be on Kabul and eastern Afghanistan, with the ruling stronghold of Jalalabad midway to the Pakistani border. The withdrawal of American and British personnel from the capital, as well as the closure of Western embassies, were no accident.
The Taliban seek to regain the power from which they were expelled, after five years of an aberrant regime transformed into a medieval Islamic caliphate in 1996.
This was made possible by the withdrawal of the Americans and their Western allies, who invaded the country in 2001 to punish the group for harboring Al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks in the United States, killing some 3,000 people.
The US withdrawal was accepted by Donald Trump last year and provided for a national pact in which the Taliban would renounce radicalism and contact with terrorists in exchange for a place in the power-sharing with the government.
The Americans, in turn, would leave in May. With Joe Biden entering the White House, however, the timeline has changed. In April, the new president said the pullout would take place until September 11, a strange idea to coincide with 20 years of terrorist attacks that led to Washington’s longest war ever.
Afterwards, the American anticipated the departure for August 31, but today only residual troops remain in Afghanistan. This prompted the Taliban to simultaneously say that the United States had broken its promises and, in turn, tear up the commitment to a political agreement.
The possibility of a final settlement with the whole country in Taliban hands is uncertain and will depend on external actors such as Pakistan, China, Russia and Turkey, each with a different interest in the region.
The United States maintained contact with the Taliban in Doha last Wednesday (11), but nothing happened and all that happened was Biden sent 5,000 troops for an operation of evacuation echoing the fall of Saigon to Vietnamese Communists in 1975.