Over A Thousand Afghan Soldiers Fleeing The Taliban Take Refuge In Tajikistan

Following Taliban’s march in Northern Afghanistan, more than a 1,000 members of the Afghan security forces crossed the border into Tajikistan, according to the Tajik border guard service. The troops retreated over the border to “save their own lives”, according to a statement by Tajikistan’s border guard.

“In the course of shootouts with the Taliban, 1,037 military servicemen of Afghan government troops retreated through the border areas of Shamsiddin Shohin District (104 people), Ruzvai (213 people) and Nulvand (83 people) in Darvaz District, Humrogi, Vanj District (173 people), the city of Khorog (312), Ishkashim (102 people) and Langar (50 people) of Ishkashim District to the territory of Tajikistan in order to save the lives of military personnel,” the statement said.  According to a statement, the Afghan soldiers were permitted to enter Tajikistan because of “humanitarianism and good communality.”

The Taliban have intensified their assault since the withdrawal of American troops began in May, which is expected to be completed in the coming days. The withdrawal of all American forces from Afghanistan is set to be completed in September this year, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, in line with US President Joe Biden’s statement. In addition, the Taliban also demanded that all foreign troops leave Afghanistan by September 11. They declared that foreign troops who refused to leave would be considered invading troops, and that severe strikes would be launched against them.

Kuhistan district of Badahsan province / From the official website of the Taliban

The Taliban took advantage of the withdrawal of American and other international forces, according to Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, who added that government forces did not expect the Taliban offensive but “definitely will counterattack.”

In the previous two months, the Taliban have taken control of more than 45 districts. The districts of Maimi, Nasi, Sheki, Khawan, Ishkashim, Shohada and Yawan in Badakhshan, Nish and Miyanshin in Kandahar, Shinwari centers in Nawa and Parwan in Helmand are among the districts that were seized overnight by the Taliban. In the majority of Afghanistan’s territory, fighting between security forces and the Taliban continues, with skirmishes occurring in around 190 of the country’s 407 districts. The government retains control of the country’s 34 provincial centers for the time being.

After the withdrawal of more than 1,000 Afghan military personnel to Tajikistan on Sunday as Taliban fighters closed the border crossings between the two countries, during a National Security Council meeting on Monday, despite the fact that Tajikistan officials have stated numerous times that they will not engage in Afghan internal affairs, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon ordered the Tajik military to deploy 20,000 soldiers along the Afghan-Tajik border, the Tajikistan president’s office stated.

Tajikistan Ambassador Sa’di Sharif (left) and Hamdullah Mohib / From the official twitter page of the National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Afterwards, the head of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s National Security Council, Hamdullah Mohib, met with Tajikistan Ambassador Sa’di Sharif and declared that Afghanistan is ready to develop its relations with Tajikistan. Neighboring countries are also preparing for a possible flood of refugees if the conflict continues to escalate.

According to Russia’s Tass news agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev exchanged views on regional issues in a phone call, and the Russian army and border guards will monitor the escalation in Afghanistan’s border areas and take appropriate action. It has also been reported that the US Withdrawal from Bagram Airbase was conducted overnight with no notice given to Afghan forces according to General Asadullah Kohistani.