US President Joe Biden has ordered B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships to target Taliban positions in Afghanistan who are advancing towards key cities, MailOnline reported on Saturday as embattled Afghan security forces are fighting the resurgent group in various parts of the country.
These bombers are being supported by the AC-130 Spectre gunships which are armed with a 25mm Gatling gun, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a 105mm M102 cannon, which can provide pinpoint accurate fire from the air, the report said.
Afghan security forces and the Taliban are engaged in fierce fighting in the capital cities of Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces in the north of Afghanistan.
The Public Health Directorate in Kunduz said that 11 civilians were killed and 39 more were wounded in fresh spate of clashes in the city of Kunduz that started on Friday evening.
In Badakhshan, police said Taliban attacks on the city of Faizabad were pushed back by Afghan forces.
Taliban Captures 2nd Provincial Capital in Two Days
The strategic city of Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban after one week of clashes, sources confirmed.
Sources said that security forces are stationed only at the provincial airport in Khwaja Dako district, which is the hometown of former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum and is located 17 kilometers from the city of Sheberghan.
Sheberghan is the second provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in the last two days.
Jawzjan lawmakers blamed the government for inattention to the security situation in Jawzjan and said it has remained indifferent to this matter.
On Friday, Taliban captured Zaranj city, the capital of Nimroz province in southwestern Afghanistan. Zaranj fell to the Taliban with no resistance by government forces.
This comes as President Ghani met with former vice president Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum on Saturday and discussed the country’s security situation, especially the situation in northern provinces, the Presidential Palace said.
In this meeting, Dostum vowed his full support to Afghan forces and said the time has come to make effort for improving the country’s security situation and for defending Afghanistan’s values.
Dostum’s spokesman Ehsanullah Nairo said that Dostum presented his plan for the improvement of the security situation to the president, and it was accepted by President Ghani.
Afghans Question Govt’s Security Strategy amid Taliban Advances
Ordinary Afghans and critics on Saturday strongly criticized the Afghan government’s security strategy as the Taliban take over two provincial capitals within the span of only two days.
They said that the so-called public uprising forces have not played any crucial role in repulsing the Taliban’s military advancement towards major cities and strategic locations.
Footage on social media shows dozens of Afghan security forces along with their military equipment and vehicles are driving towards the border with Iran, leaving Zaranj city, the center of Nimroz province in southwestern Afghanistan, without any resistance.
But critics said that the battle in Sheberghan showed that the public uprising forces did not accomplish their tasks contrary to what was expected from them. Critics said that in Sheberghan, only the son of Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum and his loyal forces resisted against the Taliban.