US could slow Afghanistan withdrawal amid Taliban gains
The US Military has confirmed via Pentagon spokesman John Kirby that they are considering slowing down its withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan due to recent Taliban gains. Although the September 11 deadline remains in place, the pace of troop withdrawal may slow. At this point, Pentagon officials state that the withdrawal is roughly halfway complete. As the US has pulled out its troops, Afghanistan has seen increasing violence, with the Taliban intensifying their attacks and gaining control of more than 30 districts. The Islamist group has also obtained large quantities of military equipment and wounded, killed, or captured dozens of Afghani troops.
The Aghan government has denied that the districts have fallen under Taliban control, instead insisting that the residents were evacuated in a tactical withdrawal. It remains unclear how many Taliban jihadists have been killed or wounded in the armed conflicts. The Taliban also claim to possess control of the whole northern province of Kunduz, except for the provincial capital that remains retained by the government. The city of Kunduz has been a long-standing target for the Taliban.