The Taliban offensive

  
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The Taliban captured 10 more Afghan provincial capitals. Currently they control 18 administrative centers. The cities of Herat and Kandahar were captured by the Islamists as well. On Thursday, the Taliban took control of 5 more Afghan provincial capitals. In the morning they attacked the city of Ghazni, the administrative center of the Ghazni region. The provincial governor swiftly left the city and went to Kabul. After that, the city defenses collapsed right away. Government forces left it without a fight, and it came under control of the Taliban.

The ’Associated Press’ reported while citing the local authorities that on Friday, the Taliban captured the administrative center of the Afghan province of Zabul, in the south of the country. The provincial councilor told to the ’Associated Press’ that the provincial capital, Kalat, was captured by the terrorists on Friday. According to him — the officials are located in the nearest military camp. They are preparing to leave.

’The New York Times’ reported while citing a source in the US administration that Joe Biden doesn’t plan to adjust the plans to pull the US troops from Afghanistan, despite the ongoing offensive of the Taliban. Joe Biden expects that the Afghan government has the strength and resources to counter the Taliban. If necessary, the Pentagon will provide the Afghan government with the necessary resources.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that during a telephone conversation, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov discussed the ways to normalize the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. «The importance of the resumption of the activities of the Trilateral Working Group under the co-chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, aimed to unblock the economic and transport ties in the region, was mentioned as well» — the ministry stated.

The Russian military police continue to patrol north of Syria in the Aleppo province. The purpose of the patrol is to demonstrate the presence of the Russian troops. It was noted that the patrolling prevents the terrorist groups from carrying out «various provocations» against the civilians. The Russian military is moving through key points in Aleppo while entering small settlements. The Syrian military also maintains order in Aleppo as well.

The Russian Embassy in Washington has indicated to Colonel Wayne Marotto, a spokesman of the US-led international anti-terrorist coalition, that the US troops are in Syria illegally. It was noted that the presence of the US troops in Syria runs counter to the relevant UN Security Council resolution. Wayne Marotto stated on Twitter that the US troops in north-east of Syria have a «clear mandate» to be there «in accordance with the international law — the UNSCR 2254 — adopted in December of 2015».

Constantine Reztsov, specially for the ANNA NEWS

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