Government forces rebuff 3 major Taliban operations across Afghanistan
The last five days have been very intense across Afghanistan, specifically so in the country’s northern region where three major Taliban operations have been rebuffed by government forces.
The largest Taliban operation was witnessed in and around Kunduz where for five straight days, forces of the militant group made at least three separate attempts to break government defenses and take the city.
With the use of suicide bombing attacks and massed infantry assaults, the Taliban at one point managed to enter parts of Kunduz, however, it was not to be a repeat of the 2015 scenario were government forces lost the city.
Backed by strikes from both US and Afghan combat aircraft and utilizing a mobile reserve force based in Kunduz, government units managed to both remove Taliban fighters who had taken positions within the city as well as drive the main militant grouping back into the countryside.
Casualties where high with even conservative estimates suggesting that at least 60 combatants were killed on each side; Taliban losses may be even higher if one accounts for US strikes against militant positions behind the front.
Whilst the battle of Kunduz was unfolding, Taliban forces launched an operation further south at Pul-e Khumri in an attempt to complicate the government’s long communication line between Kabul and Kunduz.
As is the case in most parts of Afghanistan, the Taliban de-facto controls larges areas of countryside around Pul-e Khumri giving them to ability to attack from almost any chosen direction.
Despite a nasty ambush by the Taliban which inflicted noteworthy losses on an army column as well as follow up assault on Pul-e Khumri which reportedly killed the commander of a local pro-government militia, the situation was contained and the highway running from Kabul through the city reopened according to Afghan officials.
Finally, in the last 24 hours, Taliban forces attacked government positions and administrative assets in the Zari District of Balkh Province.
The group claimed to have captured the area’s police and district headquarters, however, government forces seem to be the ones who remain in control of Zari District per a recent statement by Afghanistan’s ministry of defense which emphasized that the attack was repelled.