Until last month, most of the Taliban*-occupied territories were located in rural parts of Afghanistan. However, with the foreign troop withdrawal deadline nearing, the Islamist insurgent group is now threatening major provincial cities. Clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan forces have been reported from three major towns this week.
Two of the United Kingdom’s (UK) former defence ministers, chairman of the House of Commons’ Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, and Johnny Mercer, have called on Boris Johnson’s government to “show international leadership” and return British troops to Afghanistan. The demand came as the Taliban set its sights on the country’s urban centres ahead of the troop withdrawal deadline.
He has also expressed fears that the “horrific local, regional and international consequence” of US troop withdrawal are just starting to unfold, in a reference to escalating violence by the Taliban.
The conservative MP called for the 31 August troop withdrawal order by the Joe Biden administration to be revoked, warning that if the UK didn’t “step up” and convene a conference of “like-minded partners”, the sacrifice of British troops over the past 20 years would be in vain.
US President Joe Biden announced the 31 August troop withdrawal deadline during a policy address on 8 July. In April, Biden made a commitment to conclude the troop withdrawal process by 11 September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11…