AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT
Afghan security personnel stand guard along a road amid ongoing fight between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the western city of Qala-i- Naw, the capital of Badghis province, on July 7, 2021 - The Taliban launched a major assault on a provincial capital in Afghanistan on July 7, the first since the US military began its final drawdown of troops from the country, as insurgents press on with a blistering offensive. (Photo by - / AFP)

On Friday, the Taliban confirmed that they had captured “Islam Qala”, the most important Afghan border crossing with Iran, located in the western province of Herat, while the movement’s fighters continue their offensive across the country.

“The Islam Qala border crossing is under our full control and we will restart it today,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.

Islam Qala is one of the most important border crossings in Afghanistan, through which most of the legitimate trade between the two countries passes. It is the second major border crossing controlled by the Taliban since they launched their lightning offensive in early May as the Americans began the final stage of their withdrawal from the country.

Kabul has obtained an exemption from Washington allowing it to import Iranian fuel and gas despite US sanctions.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would end in August, stressing that the fall of the country to the Taliban was “not inevitable.”

Last month, the rebels captured Sher Khan Bandar, the main border crossing between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

More than 1,000 Afghan soldiers were forced to seek refuge in Tajikistan after heavy fighting.

© The Eastern Herald