Pentagons Admits Taliban Control Half of Afghan District Centers
- 22nd, July 2021 (5 days ago)
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WASHINGTON - Estimates showing the Taliban rapidly taking control of territory across Afghanistan are not an illusion, according to the United States' top-ranking military official, who admits the coming months will be a "test of will and leadership" for the Afghan government.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday about 212 of Afghanistan's district centers — about half — are currently in Taliban hands, and that Taliban forces are advancing on the outskirts of 17 of the country's 34 provincial capitals.
"Strategic momentum sort of appears to be sort of with the Taliban," Milley told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon.
"What they're trying to do is isolate the major population centers," he added. "They're trying to do the same thing to Kabul, and roughly speaking … a significant amount of territory has been seized."
The admission comes two and a half months after the U.S. and its allies began pulling their last remaining combat forces from Afghanistan, and despite assurances from top U.S. officials, including President Joe Biden, that a Taliban takeover is "highly unlikely."
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