UK Troops Could be Back in Afghanistan if al-Qaeda Returns, Defence Secretary Warns Amid Taliban Blitz

Asia & Pacific

The two largest cities in Afghanistan, Kandahar and Lashkargah, have fallen to the Taliban* as US intelligence has warned that the insurgent group could isolate Kabul in 30 days, and take full control of the country’s capital within 90 days.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace fears al-Qaeda* will return to Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to make rapid gains in the war-ravaged country against the background of the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Wallace signalled that Afghanistan was likely spiralling towards becoming a failed state that could serve as a breeding ground for terrorists.

He added that Britain could send troops back to Afghanistan agains if the country starts hosting al-Qaeda in a way that threatens the West.

The British defence secretary confirmed that Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, and the town of Lashkargah were “pretty much now in the hands of the Taliban”.

Wallace echoed a number of British and American top military brass, as he warned that a civil war in Afghanistan is imminent. He added that the West must realise that the Taliban is not a single entity but a title for a spate of rival interests.

Wallace is not the only person who is concerned over a potential al-Qaeda return to the country: US defence officials believe that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will allow the notorious terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks to rebuild and consolidate.

Almost 20 years…

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