Four districts fall to Taliban in Herat, Baghlan, and Faryab

In recent attacks to expand their territorial control, the Taliban have overrun four districts in Herat, Baghlan and Faryab provinces, local sources confirmed. More than 20 Afghan security forces were reportedly killed and 88 others were wounded.

On Friday, June 18, an army helicopter evacuated 150 troops including 68 injured soldiers from an army base in Oba district to Herat city, Ziaul Haq Nouri, the district`s governor told Kabul Now.

The district fell to the Taliban after the army base was evacuated.

According to Mr. Nouri, Oba was under siege for 40 days and during this period no reinforcement was provided to forces based there.

Sebghatullah Silab, deputy head of Faryab provincial council, told Kabul Now that Shirin Tagab district fell later on that day after the Afghan secuirty forces were trapped in the district.

He said more than 140 armored and military vehicles that were heading to Dawlatabad district for clearance operations against the Taliban, have stranded in Shirin Tagab district for several days.

The Taliban seized many ammunitions and nearly 150 military vehicles which could threaten the security situation in the northern provinces, he added.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, has confirmed the fall of Shirin Tagab district center. He also said the militants have overrun Dahan-e-Ghori district of Baghlan province.

Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, another spokesman for the Taliban, has confirmed the fall of Oba district.

The 217 Pamir Corps said in a statement that the Afghan security forces have temporary moved to a place in Dahan-e-Ghori district to avoid civilian casualties of civilians and road closures.

The Taliban have also overrun Dawlat Abad district of Faryab province.

More than 20 Special Operation Forces (SOF) and afghan forces were killed in clashes with the Taliban in the province, local sources confirmed.

According to Mr. Silab, the clashes took place on Thursday, June 17, in the district center.

Suhrab Azimi, a highly-trained special operations commander, was among those killed, he added.

A number of army forces including commandos were held captives by the Taliban.

The district also witnessed heavy clashes between government forces and the Taliban, late evening on June 16, as the result of which three security forces were killed and 20 others were wounded.

The 209 Shaheen Corps, however, said as many as 45 Taliban militants were killed and 67 others were wounded as the result of clashes and airstrike attacks on the group’s positions in Dawlat Abad and Shirin Tagab districts.

A large number of ammunition and vehicles of the Taliban were also destroyed during the clashes and attacks, the Corps added.

Across the country, more than 25 districts have fallen to the Taliban since May 01, when coalition forces officially began leaving the country.

Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, told Kabul Now that security and defense forces have temporarily withdrawn from a number of districts and provinces. He added that military progress was made in a number of districts that include Khanabad in Kunduz and Chah Aab in Takhar.