TASS writes: A wing of Russian Su-25 ground attack aircraft has redeployed from Russia’s Kant integrated airbase in Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan for the joint drills of Russian, Uzbek and Tajik troops at the Kharb-Maidon training ground 20 km from Afghanistan, the press office of the Central Military District reported on Thursday. “A wing of Su-25 aircraft has redeployed from the airfield of the Russian military base in Kyrgyzstan to the Gissar aerodrome in Tajikistan to participate in the trilateral exercise that will run at the Kharb-Maidon practice range in the Khatlon Region on August 5-10,” the press office said in a statement. During the drills, the crews of Su-25 close-support aircraft will hunt for a notional enemy’s camouflaged bases, deliver missile and bomb strikes against targets and practice the elements of dodging the fire by the enemy’s man-portable air defense systems, the statement says. The Russian assault aircraft will also provide fire support for motor rifle and armored units in the course of eliminating outlawed armed gangs on mountain and desert terrain, the press office specified. The Russian military contingent in the drills will mostly comprise units of Russia’s 201st military base stationed in Tajikistan. The Russian troops in the drills will include over 1,000 personnel and about 200 items of armament and military hardware. The troops will practice repelling intrusions by armed gangs and eliminating radical terrorist groups, the press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported.
TASS writes: Moscow’s powerful regional clout amid the current situation in Afghanistan will expand even further following the pullout of US troops from that country, Special Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan and Director of the Second Asian Department at Russia’s Foreign Ministry Zamir Kabulov told an online briefing on Thursday.
TASS writes: Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov noted that Russian and US interests in the Afghan settlement generally coincided
Al Jazeera writes: Dozens of Afghan soldiers have slipped across the border into northwestern Pakistan after their border post was overrun, apparently by the Taliban, the Pakistani army says. A statement by the Pakistani army on Monday said 46 members of the Afghan forces, including five officers, crossed the border late on Sunday near the Pakistani border town of Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Najib Sharifi writes for Al Jazeera: The withdrawal of the United States and NATO forces from Afghanistan has put a crucial choice before the country’s neighbours. As foreign troops are leaving and Taliban fighters are advancing, they will have to decide whether they will cooperate to stabilise the country or turn it yet again into a battlefield of regional interests. This decision will determine the course of events not just in Afghanistan, but the whole region.
Danil Bochkov writes: President Joe Biden’s decision on the swift withdrawal of American military forces from Afghanistan by August 31 has had a very different acceptance among US politicians. Donald Trump, who initiated this pullout move and wanted to speed it up before presidential elections, supported the decision. Former US president George W. Bush, who actually dispatched the military to Afghanistan after September 11 attacks in 2001 to bash Al -Qaeda, has slammed the move saying the consequences will be “unbelievably bad” especially for Afghan women and girls.
AARTI BETIGERI writes for The Interpreter: With the US in the process of withdrawing the last of its troops from Afghanistan, it has taken little time for fierce fighting to flare up in several parts of the country, as the Taliban seeks to wrest control from the elected government. Already, it has overrun large swathes of territory and is moving closer to the capital. Talks between the Ashraf Ghani-led government and the Taliban in Doha this month failed to produce a ceasefire agreement, and it is considered highly likely that the country is heading for another civil war.
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Al Jazeera writes: Nearly 2,400 Afghan civilians have been killed or injured in May and June as fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces escalated, the highest number for those two months since records started in 2009, the United Nations said on Monday. The UN’s Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report it had documented 5,183 civilian casualties between January and June, of which 1,659 were deaths. The number was up 47 percent from the same period last year.
Al Jazeera writes: The Taliban have won a string of battlefield victories in recent weeks as the United States-led foreign forces are about to complete pull-out from Afghanistan after 20 years. The armed group was removed from power in a US-led invasion in 2001 following the September 11 attacks on US soil, but it gradually regained strength, carrying out numerous attacks on foreign as well as Afghan forces in the past 20 years.
go to Al Jazeera: The Taliban explained | Conflict News | Al Jazeera