The Sunni Islamist militant group’s rapid offensive has seen it take ten of 34 of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals in one week. On Thursday, the militants entered the strategic city of Ghazni, situated just 150 km south of Kabul.
Afghan Ambassador to the US Adela Raz has urged the Pentagon to reverse its stance on the ‘feasibility’ of urgent air support to Afghan forces, and warned that her countrymen and women were prepared to fight “to the last minute” to defend their country against the Taliban’s* onslaught.
Raz warned that the remaining US air support is “extremely limited” and called on President Biden to increase assistance even as the last US and NATO ground forces are set to evacuate the country by the end of the month. The diplomat added that the “quick” speed of the US retreat from her country had “created consequences.”
Deflecting criticisms by US officials, including Biden, about the Afghan security forces’ low effectiveness against the Taliban to date, Raz insisted that “we have been fighting for ourselves and for the peace and security of the rest of the world. It’s more of a sophisticated security concern than Afghans fighting to defend their country. That we’re doing and we will do it to the last minute.”
The ambassador also called on the US and its allies to reimpose sanctions, including travel bans, on more Taliban leaders, and indicated there was always “hope” for negotiations with the militant group, “we have…