Taliban forces attacked the Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan with at least three rockets overnight, a spokesman for the insurgent group said Sunday.
The goal of the rocket strike was to obstruct air strikes stemming from Afghan government forces, the Taliban said.
“Kandahar airport was targeted by us because the enemy were using it as a center to conduct air strikes against us,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, according to Reuters.
TALIBAN COULD FORCE ‘EXISTENTIAL CRISIS’ IN AFGHANISTAN, US WATCHDOG SAYS
Officials with the Afghan government said the rocket attacks did not render any immediate reports of casualties but forced flight suspensions and said a runway was partially damaged.
Kandahar is seen as a point of strategic influence for the Taliban, Afghan government officials said.
In parts of western Afghanistan, government officials said Taliban forces were gaining control of strategic complexes around Heraat city and forcing residents to stay indoors.
The Taliban is thought to have captured up to half of Afghanistan’s territory, including border crossings with Iran and Pakistan, though the insurgent group has not taken a provincial capital.
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The U.S. military said early last month it has accomplished 90% of its troop withdrawal and the anticipated end date for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is Aug. 31, which was moved up from the scheduled Sept. 11 end date.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in late July the Afghan government needed to attempt to “slow the momentum” of the Taliban’s encroachment and “then be able to put themselves in a position where they can retake … some of the ground that they’ve lost.”
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Tags: News, Taliban, Afghanistan, NATO
Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Taliban fighters strike airport in southern Afghanistan